Thunder Song: Essays

Dreamscape Media. Mar. 2024. 5:30 hrs. ISBN 9781666656527. $17.99. MEMOIR
Coast Salish author LaPointe offers a follow-up to her award-winning autobiography, Red Paint, which explored the intersections between Indigenous resilience and Pacific Northwest punk. In this collection of 16 essays organized into five “Orations,” LaPointe reiterates the importance of music and storytelling to Indigenous heritage and healing, arguing that it is medicine for fighting erasure and disrupting cycles of generational harm. Interweaving various formative experiences as a light-skinned queer Indigenous woman—her childhood growing up on a Washington reservation, her young adulthood in Seattle and its white male-dominated punk scene, her divorce and subsequent search for healthy love—LaPointe describes how women’s and ancestral voices can guide one through sorrow and strife. It is a powerful thesis that arguably succeeds better across the larger sequence of Orations than within any of LaPointe’s individual essays, which occasionally force endings too neatly to feel fully resonant. Still, the collection’s core strength is LaPointe herself, who narrates each story with conviction and generous vulnerability—an added benefit in audio.
VERDICT A captivating collection of essays highlighting LaPointe’s unique experiences and inheritances as a modern Coast Salish woman. Strongly recommended for fans of Red Paint and similar memoirs; essential for Pacific Northwest library collections.
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