Award-winning author Michelle Good invited folks out to the Swift Current Branch Library last night for a conversation about her first book.
Five Little Indians compassionately tells the story of a group of residential school survivors as they navigate accepting their past and moving forward from it.
The Cree writer, poet, and lawyer published her novel in 2020, which has since won the HarperCollins/UBC Best New Fiction Prize, the Amazon First Novel Award, the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction.
"I think the disclosure about historical events that people knew nothing about is what moves people most profoundly," Good said. "They go to school, they get a history, they believe it. And then I tell them something different, and it's eye opening and shocking."
Folks in the community listened intently as Good read excerpts and afterwards were able to ask questions to engage in eye-opening conversations with her.
She talked about how the stories of Five Little Indians were born, tearing up at brushes of trauma, and smiling at how the characters seemed to guide her pen as she wrote.
"What's important is that we speak with each other, and we deepen our understanding of each other," she stated. "We all have something to offer. The conversation is important. That's how we get to know each other, and we can consider each other fellow citizens, as opposed to adversaries."
Good hopes that after reading her novel, folks will have a deeper understanding residential schools are not so far distant in history, and that their impacts continue to resonate in communities and will for a long time.
"I hope that people will reconsider what they think they know and reeducate themselves."
Learn more about Michelle Good and her work here.