Living on the Borderlinesby Published 01 Feb 2019
|Living on the Borderlines.pdf|
For the loosely connected Seneca community members living in Upstate New York, intergenerational memory slips into everyday life: a teenager struggles to understand her grandmother's silences, a family seeks to reconnect with a lost sibling, and a young woman searches for a cave that's called to her family for generations. With these stories, debut writer Melissa Michal weaves together an understated and contemplative collection exploring what it means to be Native.
Living on the Borderlines Reviews
The stories in this collection weave contemporary Seneca lives with the past. Some are crushing, some are hopeful, and most leave you wanting more. Definitely a worthwhile read.
Short stories, all revolving around indigenous lives. Some stories were more memorable than others, but I certainly enjoyed quite a bit of them. I am looking forward to what this author comes up with next.
This book felt cozy and thought provoking. Full of emotion, Michal has compiled stories that share some Native experiences, from a sensory experience to discovering long lost family. This collection is simple and moving, and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment I spent reading.
Short story collections can often be hit or miss, but I felt an emotional connection to nearly every story Michal wrote. Michal writes from her Seneca perspective about inter generational stories of both past and present. Many of her characters explore what it means to be Native, the joys and struggles they find themselves facing on a daily basis. Michal explores how their interracial histories bring different meaning to each of their lives, as they find themselves entwined in Native and white culture simultaneously. This was a cozy perspective I was happy to embrace. Michal was able to elicit a slew of emotions from me as the reader, and I thoroughly enjoyed my glimpse into the Native lives she chose to represent in her writing.
One of the main themes I noticed running throughout her writing was the theme of family, and how strong their bonds were with each other. Some of their relationships were long and old, some became a form of grief or remembrance of family members' passing, some were new bonds being formed. So much of her writing felt fluid in a way that I'm not used to reading.
I received a copy of this book via the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review.
All my reviews can be seen at https://deedireads.com/.
Thank you so much to the Feminist Press for sending me an advanced copy of this collection of stories.
I was very excited to read Living on the Borderlines because I grew up in upstate New York, not far from where many of these stories take place. I know a lot of the small towns, highways, and landmarks referenced. That always makes for a fun reading experience.
But beyond that, I loved the stories themselves. I especially appreciated how so many common themes wound through each of them: cultural and personal change, turning inward in the face of strife, a strong sense of identity. It tied all the stories together and made them a true set, and it reinforced the feeling of authenticity that came through on every page.
Melissa Michal writes in a way that is simultaneously straightforward and lyrical; light and impactful. A beautiful debut.