A Mind Spread Out on the Ground

In this memoir, author Alicia Elliott recounts her (not unhappy) childhood living in poverty and often homelessness, her conflicting feelings for her white Catholic mother who suffered from bipolar disorder, and her experiences of what it’s like to be Indigenous today (she’s Tuscarora). The lasting effects of colonialism, genocide, and assimilation are evident throughout her life and—as she thoroughly explores—in the lives of all Indigenous peoples. I was particularly captivated by her perspective on trauma—the way people always want proof that it happened, that survivors are often urged to painfully recount it over and over again, that sometimes it’s healthy to intentionally forget. Her final essay, which she deems “participatory,” asks the reader about abuse—what does it mean, what are its consequences, who’s allowed to do it and who isn’t, is it worth losing people over. This interesting book won’t drag you through the trenches like Heart Berries, but readers of Terese Marie Mailhot would do well to pick it up. Recommended by Mary

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A Mind Spread Out on the Ground By Alicia Elliott Cover Image
ISBN: 9781612198668
Availability: This book is in stock at our warehouse and will be at the Raven within 3-5 Business Days, once they've shipped it to us.
Published: Melville House - August 4th, 2020

"In her raw, unflinching memoir . . . she tells the impassioned, wrenching story of the mental health crisis within her own family and community . . . A searing cry." —New York Times Book Review