cover image Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land

Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land

Toni Jensen. Ballantine, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-1-98482-118-8

In this stirring series of essays, Jensen, a Métis writer and English professor at the University of Arkansas, muses on an expansive range of pressing issues facing America today. The unifying theme is violence: domestic violence; violence against Indigenous people; violence linked to mental health and poverty; and the violence of erasure via white supremacy. In the title essay, Jensen writes that in 2018 “according to a new law, anyone who’s licensed can come to Kimpel Hall carrying a handgun, to my office, Kimpel 221, carrying a handgun, to my classroom, carrying a handgun.” She then reveals, in a chilling turn, that she sits down the hall from where, in 2000, “a graduate student, recently expelled from the program,” shot a professor. In another notable essay, “Dog Days,” Jensen tells of her abusive father and how after many years they “have made a sort of peace with each other.” Jensen also provides an inside look into Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in the powerful “Women in the Fracklands.” This beautiful assemblage of essays braids a visceral reminder of America’s current troubles, and a deeper understanding of how they came to be. (Sept.)