Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies

Review copy provided by the publisher.

There is a tendency among speculative writers and readers to use “literary fiction” to mean mimetic fiction, to mean “anything that isn’t us or maybe, maybe romance or mystery.” But Noopiming genuinely is a literary work, experimental and varied in its form, swerving from prose frament to poetry as the work requires. It’s very short–I’d estimate about novella length–but so intense that it’s still messing with my head a day later.

Noopiming is about a being called Mashkawaji, who is frozen in ice and experiencing the modern world through a host of other characters, human/tree/caribou/goose. The humanity of some of the characters is fluid, blending into other species and entities, ways of thought and modes of being. This is not genre fantasy but rather a piece about an interconnected multispecies community in Toronto and environs, figuring out ways to be all right, to heal and connect and learn.

It is honestly not like anything else I’ve read, and you know I read a lot. Fascinating, brief, vivid.

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