A Grandmother Begins the Story


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Description

Award-winning author Michelle Porter makes her fiction debut with an enchanting and original story of the unrivaled desire for healing and the power of familial bonds across five generations of Métis women and the land and bison that surround them.

Written like a crooked Métis jig, A Grandmother Begins the Story follows five generations of women and bison as they reach for the stories that could remake their worlds and rebuild their futures.

Carter is a young mother, recently separated. She is curious, angry, and on a quest to find out what the heritage she only learned of in her teens truly means.
Allie, Carter's mother, is trying to make up for the lost years with her first born, and to protect Carter from the hurt she herself suffered from her own mother. Lucie wants the granddaughter she's never met to help her join her ancestors in the Afterlife. And Geneviève is determined to conquer her demons before the fire inside burns her up, with the help of the sister she lost but has never been without. Meanwhile, Mamé, in the Afterlife, knows that all their stories began with her; she must find a way to cut herself from the last threads that keep her tethered to the living, just as they must find their own paths forward.

This extraordinary novel, told by a chorus of vividly realized, funny, wise, confused, struggling characters--including descendants of the bison that once freely roamed the land--heralds the arrival of a stunning new voice in literary fiction.

Author: Michelle Porter
Binding Type: Hardcover
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Published: 11/07/2023
Pages: 336
Weight: 0.89lbs
Size: 8.48h x 5.80w x 0.97d
ISBN: 9781643755182


Review Citation(s):
Library Journal Prepub Alert 06/01/2023 pg. 7
Publishers Weekly 10/02/2023
Library Journal Prepub Alert 10/01/2023 pg. 120
Kirkus Reviews 10/15/2023
Booklist 10/15/2023 pg. 22
BookPage 11/01/2023

About the Author
Michelle Porter is the descendent of a long line of Métis storytellers. Many of her ancestors told stories using music and today she tells stories using the written word. Her newest book will be published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press this year. Called Scratching River, it's a memoir that explores the meaning of her Métis heritage through her older brother's life story. She's also published a book of poetry, Inquiries (shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award for Best Book of Poetry in Canada in 2019), and a book of creative nonfiction about her great grandfather, a fiddler from the Red River, called Approaching Fire (shortlisted for the Indigenous Voices Award 2021). She's the winner of the 2021 Cox & Palmer SPARKS Creative Writing Award. She holds degrees in Journalism (BA), Folklore (MA), English (MA) and Geography (PhD). Her academic research and creative work focus on home, memory, and women's changing relationships with the land. She has won numerous awards for her poetry and journalism and her work has been published in literary journals and magazines across the country. Currently she is teaching creative writing and Métis Literature at Memorial University. She is a member of the Manitoba Métis Federation and she lives in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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