Lakehead welcoming celebrated Anishinaabe writer Leanne Simpson for 2020 Munroe Lecture via Zoom
November 19, 2020 – Thunder Bay and Orillia, Ont.
Lakehead University’s Department of English invites members of the public in Thunder Bay, Orillia and beyond to join them on Zoom on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 7 pm for a reading and discussion with award-winning Anishinaabe writer, storyteller and musician Leanne Betasamosake Simpson.
The event, which is co-sponsored by the university’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives and the Thunder Bay Public Library, celebrates the recent publication of Simpson’s latest novel Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies (Anansi, September 2020).
Simpson will speak for 20-30 minutes, followed by a Q&A session. Members of the public who wish to pre-register and pose questions for the author are asked to use a form at the following link: https://forms.gle/Jj2XJWUsb4WfQEGc9.
The link to the Zoom webinar event is: https://lakeheadu.zoom.us/j/91093260928
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg writer, scholar, and musician, and a member of Alderville First Nation.
She is the author of five previous books, including This Accident of Being Lost, which won the MacEwan Book of the Year and the Peterborough Arts Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Indigenous Author; was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Trillium Book Award; was longlisted for CBC Canada Reads; and was named a best book of the year by the Globe and Mail, National Post, and Quill & Quire. She has released two albums, including f(l)ight, which is a companion piece to This Accident of Being Lost.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Award-winning Nishnaabeg storyteller and writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson returns with a bold reimagination of the novel, one that combines narrative and poetic fragments through a careful and fierce reclamation of Anishinaabe aesthetics.
Mashkawaji (they/them) lies frozen in the ice, remembering a long-ago time of hopeless connection and now finding freedom and solace in isolated suspension. They introduce us to the seven main characters: Akiwenzii, the old man who represents the narrator’s will; Ninaatig, the maple tree who represents their lungs; Mindimooyenh, the old woman who represents their conscience; Sabe, the giant who represents their marrow; Adik, the caribou who represents their nervous system; Asin, the human who represents their eyes and ears; and Lucy, the human who represents their brain. Each attempts to commune with the unnatural urban-settler world, a world of SpongeBob Band-Aids, Ziploc baggies, Fjällräven Kånken backpacks, and coffee mugs emblazoned with institutional logos. And each searches out the natural world, only to discover those pockets that still exist are owned, contained, counted, and consumed. Cut off from nature, the characters are cut off from their natural selves.
Noopiming is Anishinaabemowin for “in the bush,” and the title is a response to English Canadian settler and author Susanna Moodie’s 1852 memoir Roughing It in the Bush. To read Simpson’s work is an act of decolonization, degentrification, and willful resistance to the perpetuation and dissemination of centuries-old colonial myth-making. It is a lived experience. It is a breaking open of the self to a world alive with people, animals, ancestors, and spirits, who are all busy with the daily labours of healing — healing not only themselves, but their individual pieces of the network, of the web that connects them all together. Enter and be changed.
For more information, contact Dr. Judith Leggatt, Associate Professor, Department of English: [email protected]
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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Media, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or [email protected]