Night of the Living Rez

Recorded Books. Jul. 2022. 7:08 hrs. ISBN 9781705069394. $19.99. F
Talty’s debut collection of 12 connected tales gives listeners a glimpse into what it means to be a modern Penobscot living on a reservation in Maine. Told from the perspective of a Penobscot man named David, the stories move back and forth between his childhood and adulthood. The layered tales wrestle with complex and sometimes heavy topics—generational trauma, family dynamics, addiction, illness, and uncertain futures. Each is full of heart and humor, capturing the trauma and hardship, but also the joy that comes with reservation life. Narrator Darrell Dennis, an Indigenous Canadian actor, creates a moving listening experience. Dennis’s carefully paced and engaging voice matches the restraint and directness of Talty’s prose. Of special note is the author’s note at the end. Talty explains his use of the language and the decision to use phonetic instead of traditional spelling. While listeners won’t see the phonetic spelling, this note provides them with the knowledge of how the language is meant to be understood.
VERDICT This rich collection of interwoven stories will add a new perspective to any collection. Highly recommended, especially for libraries looking to highlight diverse voices and communities.
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