If you haven’t read this yet, you simply must. It is so good and funny, warm and sad, bittersweet and wonderful. I’m reading it slowly, so that it will last. The book centers around Junior, a teenager and budding cartoonist living on the Spokane Indian reservation. When he leaves the rez to attend an all-white school, he’s seen as a traitor to his people. It’s a powerful story, written in a breezy and likable voice.
This voice also bites in places, and the bites are so raw and honest that it sometimes hurts to read:
“Just take a look at the world. Almost all of the rich and famous brown people are artists. They’re singers and actors and writers and dancers and directors and poets.
“So I draw because I feel like it might be my only real chance to escape the reservation.
“I think the world is a series of broken dams and floods, and my cartoons are tiny little lifeboats.”
And the cartoons included in The Absolutely True Story of a Part-time Indian, are lifeboats. They lift up the text, elevate it from a really good book to that rare find–really great book. By adding another voice, another layer, they offer a deeper, more honest perspective.
Just read it, okay?
We took an evening beach walk a few nights ago to watch the sunset, just before 10 p.m. I can’t get enough of the twilight blues (by the end of this summer, you will probably all be tired of looking at the twilight blues, lol). The variation of shades, as the light shifts, is so lovely and ghostly. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen. Sometimes I’m sure that it’s what keeps me here in Alaska.
P.S. We are up to fifteen and a half hours of daylight and still gaining over five minutes at day. It’s really kind of glorious.
P.S.S. The stretch of beach where Seriously is standing is part of the mudflats. These are gooey areas that reveal themselves when the tide is low. They look like gray mud and can be slippery. They also occasionally act as quicksand. People have become stuck and years ago a woman (on her honeymoon, no less) became caught out along Turnagain Arm and drowned when the tide came in.
More recently, about three years ago, a big and strapping military dude drowned when he got caught on the mudflats while walking back from Fire Island (here in Anchorage, the tides rise fast, and are powerful and deep.) His body later washed up on the beach.
So if you ever visit, please keep off the mudflats, even if they do look silver and lovely in the twilight–promise?