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Sinister Wisdom 114 / A Generous Spirit: Selected Work by Beth Brant

Sinister Wisdom and Inanna Publications & Education Inc. are proud to present a new volume of the work of Native American writer Beth Brant, edited by Janice Gould. A Generous Spirit: Selected Work by Beth Brant collects the writing of Beth Brant, Mohawk lesbian poet, essayist and activist. During her life, Brant’s work gave voice to an often unacknowledged Two-Spirit identity, and today, her words represent continued strength, growth, and connection in the face of deep suffering. A Generous Spirit is Brant’s portrait of survival and empathy at the intersection of Native American and lesbian experience.
A Generous Spirit recounts and enacts the continuance of her people and her sisters with distinct, organic voices and Brant’s characteristic warmth. Her work is a simultaneous cry of grief and celebration of human compassion and connection in its shared experience. Through storytelling, her characters wrest their own voices from years of silence and find communion with other souls.
With a substantial introduction by Janice Gould situating Brant in a broader political and literary context, a foreword by acclaimed Canadian poet Lee Maracle, and a moving afterword by scholar and poet Deborah Miranda, A Generous Spirit is a tribute to the influence of Brant on a generation of Indigenous writers.
About Beth Brant
Beth Brant (Degonwadonti) was a lesbian poet, essayist, activist, and Bay of Quinte Mohawk from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Reserve in Ontario, Canada. Born in Detroit in 1941, she began writing in 1981 at the age of forty. Brant was the editor of Sinister Wisdom 22/23: A Gathering of Spirit, an anthology of Native American women’s writing, and the author of Mohawk Trail (1985), Food & Spirits (1991), Writing as Witness: Essay and Talk (1994), and I’ll Sing ‘til the Day I Die: Conversations with Tyendinaga Elders (1995). She passed away in August 2015.

A Generous Spirit: Selected Work by Beth Brant
Edited by Janice Gould
Sapphic Classics from Sinister Wisdom & Inanna Publications & Education Inc.
Paperback | October 2019 | $18.95 / $22.95 (Canada)| 152 pages | ISBN: 978-1-77133-685-7





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ADVANCE PRAISE for A Generous Spirit: Selected Work by Beth Brant

Beth Brant gave us Indigenous feminism and Indigenous queer theory even before we had a name for these practices, all wrapped up in the most beautiful storywork. Highly valuable for its literary as well as its theoretical contribution, A Generous Spirit will find a cherished spot on many, many bookshelves, now and into the future.
—Kim Anderson, author of A Recognition of Being: Reconstructing Native Womanhood

In A Generous Spirit: Selected Work by Beth Brant, we have one marvelous native lesbian poet introducing another. Janice Gould thoughtfully presents the work of Beth Brant, a Mohawk writer who never received the acclamation she deserved while she lived. Here her poems and, especially, her robust and gritty prose pieces reveal worlds of living richly put to paper; including a marvelous story of a cross-dressing female coyote attempting to play a trick on a fox. Beth Brant is a writer of great depth and brilliant talent.
—Margaret Randall, writer, oral historian, and revolutionary, author most recently of Exporting Revolution and Che on My Mind

For the native, queer, feminist, literary world: Beth is a home, reminding us that we are not alone in our movements towards liberation.
—Christopher Soto, poet and editor of Nepantla: An Anthology for Queer Poets of Color

This collection of long out-of-print stories and essays by Beth Brant is a gift and reminder of the power of stories and the role of writers. These survival stories witness, celebrate, and offer hope. Brant writes what she knows, and does so with compassion and an insistence that the erotic is subversive, that the gifts we give come back to us, that we are all relatives and that is our strength. Reading these stories again is a coming home; I am amazed and humbled.
—Cheryl Savageau, writer and poet

This book is special. Everyone should read it.
—Lee Maracle, from the foreword

Obituary of Beth Brant
Tribute to Beth Brant by Sinister Wisdom editor, Julie R. Enszer

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"Empowerment comes from ideas."

Gloria Anzaldúa

"Your silence will not protect you."

Audre Lorde

"Live your lives, honorably and with dignity."

Andrea Dworkin