cover image My Good Man

My Good Man

Eric Gansworth. Levine Querido, $21.99 (400p) ISBN 9-78-164614183-8

Onondaga, Eel Clan author Gansworth (Apple) traces the life of a Haudenosaunee 25-year-old from early childhood to adulthood in this heartfelt epic. The novel opens in 1992 with reporter Brian Waterson, the only Native person on the Niagara Cascade staff, struggling to persuade his editors to let him report on topics other than life on the Tuscarora reservation where he grew up. When the brother of his mother’s white boyfriend is hospitalized after a violent incident, Brian is drawn back to his childhood home. Thus begins a rewind to 1970, and—via six distinct parts—a forward chronology that delves further into Brian’s relationship with his family, his community, and himself. As the years pass, Brian navigates racism, toxic masculinity, and an increasing disconnect with his heritage. The author’s sketch-like, high-contrast artwork, featured throughout and rendered in b&w, uses Native imagery to impart eerie atmosphere, while rhythmic poem interstitials lend additional lyricism to the lush text. In this perceptive tome, Gansworth candidly offers a complex look at Brian’s efforts to cultivate his own sense of self while navigating two seemingly separate identities: his life growing up in Tuscarora and his life after leaving the reservation. Ages 14–up. (Nov.)