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Billy-Ray Belcourt’s collection of personal essays opens with a tender letter to his kokum and memories of his early life in the hamlet of Joussard, Alberta, and on the Driftpile Cree Nation.
From there, it expands to encompass the big and broken world around him, in all its complexity and contradictions: a legacy of colonial violence and the joy that flourishes in spite of it, first loves and first loves lost, sexual exploration and intimacy, and the act of writing as a survival instinct and a way to grieve. What emerges is not only a profound meditation on memory, gender, anger, shame and ecstasy, but also the outline of a way forward.
With startling honesty, and in a voice distinctly and assuredly his own, Belcourt situates his life experiences within a constellation of seminal queer texts, among which this book is sure to earn its place. Eye-opening, intensely emotional and excessively quotable, A History of My Brief Body demonstrates over and over again the power of words to both devastate and console us.
Author: Billy-Ray Belcourt
Paperback Published 4 May 2021 192 pages
‘This is not so much a memoir as it is a brilliant deconstruction of memoir itself. Within the hazardous worksite of language, Belcourt assembles a beautiful and haunting mosaic of what it means to be, to think, sing, fuck, and love in a queer and racialised body.’ -Omar Sakr
‘In sharp pieces infused with a yearning for decolonized love and freedom, Belcourt … ably balances poetic, philosophical, and political insights throughout this unique book... An urgently needed, unyielding book of theoretical and intimate strength.’ - Kirkus