Thunder Song: Essays (Hardcover)

Thunder Song: Essays By Sasha LaPointe Cover Image
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"Blending beautiful family history with her own personal memories, LaPointe’s writing is a ballad against amnesia, and a call to action for healing, for decolonization, for hope." —Elle

The author of the award-winning memoir Red Paint returns with a razor-sharp, clear-eyed collection of essays on what it means to be a proudly queer indigenous woman in the United States today

Drawing on a rich family archive as well as the anthropological work of her late great-grandmother, Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe explores themes ranging from indigenous identity and stereotypes to cultural displacement and environmental degradation to understand what our experiences teach us about the power of community, commitment, and conscientious honesty.

Unapologetically punk, the essays in Thunder Song segue from the miraculous to the mundane, from the spiritual to the physical, as they examine the role of art—in particular music—and community in helping a new generation of indigenous people claim the strength of their heritage while defining their own path in the contemporary world.

About the Author

Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe is a Coast Salish author from the Nooksack and Upper Skagit Indian tribes. She is the author of Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk, winner of a Pacific Northwest Book Award, the Washington State Book Award for Creative Nonfiction/Memoir, and an NPR Best Book of the Year, and the poetry collection Rose Quartz. She received a double MFA in creative nonfiction and poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts. She lives in Tacoma, Washington.

Praise For…

Book Riot, A Best Nonfiction Book of 2024
Named a Most Anticipated Title by Ms., Elle, Nylon, Electric Literature, Autostraddle, & Bookshop

"Thunder Song is masterful and wise, and it will not be forgotten." —Morgan Talty, People

"In Thunder Song, LaPointe traverses both trauma and tender joyous moments with fearlessness and grace." —Dua Anjum, The Seattle Times

"At its core, Thunder Song is LaPointe's own gift of medicine to the world." —Libby Denkmann Noel Gasca, KUOW

"Whether one reads Thunder Song cover-to-cover or one-by-one as discrete essays, the overall impression is one of honesty, precise observations and love. Thunder Song is further evidence of a star on the rise, well worth following." —Christine Perkins, Cascadia Daily News

"Blending beautiful family history with her own personal memories, LaPointe’s writing is a ballad against amnesia, and a call to action for healing, for decolonization, for hope." —Lauren Puckett-Pope, Elle

"The collection is reminiscent of a mixtape, with essays as loud and splitting as a punk song." —
Sophia June, Nylon

"Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe offers readers this incandescent collection of essays reflecting on family, tradition, art and music, climate change, spirituality and more. Her way with words is powerful; her distinctive style is fresh, magnetic and compelling." —Karla Strand, Ms.

"LaPointe points the reader toward a larger kind of love rooted in unconditional care and compassion in a uniquely Indigenous queer love story." —Shin Yu Pai, Seattle Magazine

"Like any good mixtape, Thunder Song is bold, lyrical, compelling, and proud." —Orion

"Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe gives us glimpses into her life as an Indigenous woman in America in her brilliant new essay collection, Thunder Song. She boldly proclaims her heritage, her queerness, and her punk-ness. I can’t wait for people to read this!" —Ashley Kilcullen, The Bookshop, Electric Literature

“It’s a provocative and wonderfully crafted collection exploring cultural legacies, colonialism, and finding your own path forward.” —Susie Dumond, BookRiot

"These essays are firmly rooted in the collective history of the Coast Salish people as LaPointe offers earnest revelations of cheated land, the significance of persistence, and the radical act of love." —Shelf Awareness (starred review)

"Incandescent . . . Thunder Song [is] powerfully animated by the 'spirit songs' of LaPointe’s matrilineal line; her writing is both a celebration and continuation of the work of her foremothers, in a Native punk mode all her own . . . By transmitting the healing songs of her great-grandmother through her own creative work in prose and performance, LaPointe offers all readers a chance to acknowledge and be changed by Indigenous voices and values." —Catherine Hollis, BookPage (starred review)

"Lyrical prose elevates LaPointe’s incisive and heartfelt personal reflections. The result is a beautifully rendered snapshot of contemporary American Indigenous life." —Publishers Weekly

"These passionate essays, adamant in their activist pleas, reflect hard-won wisdom, as well as the representative significance of the author’s experiences. Probing and poignant reflections on Indigenous America." —Kirkus Reviews

“Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe’s essays in Thunder Song are loud, bold, and startlingly majestic. None of Sasha’s examinations fail to find truth: page after page, the intersections of family, heritage, history, and music build to countless transcendental moments for the reader, which is not only the magic of this book but a clear testament to Sasha’s immense storytelling power. She is a major talent. Thunder Song is masterful and wise, and it will not be forgotten.” ––Morgan Talty, National Bestselling author of Night of the Living Rez

"Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe's essays are the songs that twine us together, the stories that teach us how to live, and the directions through the deep forest where our medicines grow. For everyone who keeps singing and telling and listening, Thunder Song is a heart-balm and a gift." ––Elissa Washuta, author of White Magic

"Thunder Song is testimony, prayer, song. It is an announcement—that a Two-Spirit woman has stepped into her power. It is living proof that loving oneself can be a radical act of decolonization. It is at once a protest against Indigenous erasure and a powerful reminder that Indigenous peoples have part of the answer to the burning question of how to get out of the horrible, planetary mess that we're in. But more than all this, Thunder Song is the literary equivalent of plant medicine. In it, Sasha taqwšəblu LaPointe gathers the stories and sacred herbs of her lived experiences (and her people’s) and makes a medicine of her own—to heal herself and, in turn, everyone else. An offering of rare beauty in this broken world." —Julian Aguon author of No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies and founder of Blue Ocean Law

Product Details
ISBN: 9781640096356
ISBN-10: 1640096353
Publisher: Counterpoint
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 256
Language: English
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