My Conversations With Canadians by Lee Maracle

My Conversations With Canadians by Lee Maracle

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On her first book tour at the age of 26, Lee Maracle was asked a question from the audience, one she couldn’t possibly answer at that moment. But she has been thinking about it ever since. As time has passed, she has been asked countless similar questions, all of them too big to answer, but not too large to contemplate. These questions, which touch upon subjects such as citizenship, segregation, labour, law, prejudice and reconciliation (to name a few), are the heart of My Conversations with Canadians.

In prose essays that are both conversational and direct, Maracle seeks not to provide any answers to these questions she has lived with for so long. Rather, she thinks through each one using a multitude of experiences she’s had as a First Nations leader, a woman, a mother, and grandmother over the course of her life. Lee Maracle’s My Conversations with Canadians presents a tour de force exploration into the writer’s own history and a reimagining of the future of our nation.

Watch the Book Launch and Reading:

Read an excerpt from My Conversations with Canadians:

Lee Maracle Conversation 10: ‘On Appropriation’, an excerpt from My Conversations with Canadians: —Lemon Hound

‘Meeting the Public’: an excerpt from My Conversations with Canadians by Lee Maracle —The Rusty Toque

Toronto Book Awards Jury Citation

“In My Conversations with Canadians, groundbreaking Sto:Lo storyteller Lee Maracle brings her decades of experience in writing and performing to bear on this essential series of essays. Maracle speaks plainly and powerfully throughout, and her words demand our attention and consideration. At a crucial time when the realities of Canadian life and the trappings of Canadian Literature are being rightly re-examined, Maracle explores our most pressing cultural and societal problems – those that are starkly visible, and those that may seem subterranean to some readers. The concerns of this book are concerns that will resonate with Torontonians, and those who live in different communities all over this continent, and they are laid out with precision and passion in every line.”

Press Coverage

Most Anticipated: Our Fall 2017 Non-Fiction Preview —49th Shelf

Fall Preview 2017: Non-fiction —Quill and Quire

Fall Book Preview: 20 works of Canadian Nonfiction to watch for this fall —CBC Books

Twenty-Five must-read books this fall —Toronto Star

“My Conversations With Canadians… offer[s] strength and solidarity to Indigenous readers, and a generous guide to allyship for non-Indigenous readers. For the latter, these books will unsettle, but to engage in allyship is to commit to being unsettled – all the time.” —Carleigh Baker, The Globe and Mail

“Maracle sets the record straight on a few of our beloved myths, including Canada’s current narrative as a model multicultural society.” —Kamal Al-Solaylee, Quill and Quire

“A very timely work in the era of the botched Canada 150 celebrations and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women inquiry… a powerful and thought provoking read. Highly recommended.” —Tom Sandborn, Vancouver Sun

“By inviting us into her home, Maracle reminds us that we inhabit someone else’s space. We come to see that maybe we are the problem and that reconciliation is not a solution — not without restitution.” —Julie McGonegal, The UC Observer

“In these pages, Maracle develops a relationship with her audience that feels intuitive and intimate, yet weaves together something far more comprehensive than any interview or conversation could provide.” —Thomas Molander, Maisonneuve

“As challenging as these “conversations” may be for some Canadians, the harshness pales in comparison to the abuses endured at residential schools. Readers will not be stripped naked, deloused, and then shaved bald on their first day of school. Only the readers’ false notions will be stripped away.” —Darrell Doxtdator, Hamilton Review of Books

“Maracle, never one to hold back, is an unblinking observer of First Nations experience and seizes the moment – specifically the occasion of Canada’s 150th birthday – to release this collection of essays…  A unique voice worth heeding.” —Susan G. Cole, NOW Magazine

CanLit at a crossroads: Four writers on the state of our country’s literature —Toronto Star

Activist Lee Maracle On Why Every Question Is Worth Answering (Even If It’s Racist) —Chatelaine

Lee Maracle & others head to Kingston Writers’ Festival —The Queen’s University Journal

A life of questions answered in new book: An Interview with Lee Maracle —Pique Magazine

Lee Maracle stormed CanLit stages to make sure her story was heard —CBC Radio: Unreserved

“I loved this book. I love the way that Maracle peppers her work with allusions to so many incredible Indigenous writers in Canada who are changing the world, sentence by sentence, how My Conversations With Canadians is also the most terrific bibliography. I love how she writes about Indigenous identity, and how Canadian identity is never questioned, or at least not in a non-superficial way.” —Kerry Clare, Pickle Me This

2017 Books of the Year —Pickle Me This

A Reading List for National Indigenous Peoples Day —All Lit Up

“My Conversations with Canadians by Lee Maracle is a book I wish everyone in Canada would read, even though it is specifically about Indigenous experiences in Canada, I really think it speaks to the way we make assumptions and treat others.” —Hilary Atleo of Iron Dog Books for The Globe and Mail

LEE MARACLE was the author of a number of critically acclaimed works, including Ravensong; Bobbi Lee, Indian Rebel; Daughters Are Forever; Celia’s Song; I Am Woman; First Wives Club; Talking to the Diaspora, Memory Serves: Oratories; and My Conversations with Canadians, which was a finalist for the 2018 Toronto Book Award and the First Nation Communities READ 2018–19 Award. Hope Matters, a poetry collection co-authored with her daughters Columpa Bobb and Tania Carter, was published in 2019. Maracle was also the co-editor of My Home as I Remember and served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Washington. Maracle received the J.T. Stewart Award, the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Blue Metropolis Festival First Peoples Prize, the Harbourfront Festival Prize, and the Anne Green Award. Maracle received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from St. Thomas University, was a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and was an Officer of the Order of Canada. In July 2019, she was announced as a finalist of the prestigious Neustadt Prize, popularly known as the American Nobel. A member of the Sto:lo Nation, Maracle passed away on November 11, 2021, in Surrey, British Columbia. She was 71.