With Lesley Belleau's recent win of the League of Canadian Poets' Pat Lowther Memorial Award for her collection, Indianland, we look back at her book, The Colour of Dried Bones, published by Kegedonce in 2008.
This beautifully written book is a collection of interconnected short stories that are told primarily through the eyes of a young Aninshinaabe woman struggling with her relationships with lovers, friends, family, children, community and culture. As some relationships dissolve or are wrenched apart, others endure and gain strength. An intimate glimpse into the reality faced by many young First Nations women, The Colour of Dried Bones is by turns dark and brooding, sensual and filled with intense longing, infused with anger and brutality and, ulitmately, uplifiting in its portrayal of one woman's winding path to reclaim her culture and sense of self.
Important stories told in beautiful prose through the experiences of profoundly real characters.
"And at midnights like these, I don't know what to do. With fathers. With long drawn-out days that fall into fogginess, leaving me emptied, sucked dry. With signing my name at the bottom of papers, forgetting to read what is on the top. With school work. With empty cupboards. Wtih mechanics who say to get rid of it, that it's not worth it to try to fix again. With hot foreheads in the middle of the night. With screaming in-laws. With mothers who think that I am the strong one. With my sister's laundry. With Sundays. And with a soft-eyed man who maybe I could love." --Lesley Belleau, The Colour of Dried Bones