As the year ends and we turn our focus to upcoming holidays, I want to highlight an Indigenous author to encourage readers of all ages to decolonize our bookshelves.
From Traci Sorrell, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, We Are Grateful is a beautiful, reflective book that looks at the Cherokee practice of giving thanks as a family and as a community. "We are grateful," in the Cherokee language is otsaliheliga. This and other Cherokee words are sprinkled throughout these pages.
I’ve been struggling with how to describe this novel, other than it’s often pensive and irregularly balanced for a “dystopian” story. Finally, I came to the conclusion (after 3 pages of notes) that it needs to be read because of the struggle it shows and invokes in us. That may not be very helpful, but as stubborn and intellectual Cedar says at the start, “...maybe you’ll understand. Or not. I’ll write this anyway…” I mean...what do you record for a possible life in a world unknown to you?