It’s a collection of short, straightforward essays organized into four seasons. But “Onigamiising” (University of Minnesota Press, 2017) by Linda LeGarde Grover is more powerful than the sum of its parts. Simple stories about life and rituals surrounding food and family draw you in. Then other difficult stories teach you about American Indian boarding schools and veterans returning from war. LeGarde Grover wrote a book that educates and enriches. She often uses the word onishishin in her book, which she defines as, “that’s pretty.” In one chapter, an older Ojibwe man expressed the deeper meaning of the word when he complimented someone for a speech: “Thank you; that was pretty. Do you know what I mean when I say it was pretty? It means that what you said was nice, that it was just right. The old people used to say that.” That’s exactly how I’d praise this book.

Eric Chandler, Duluth

 

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