Glass Beads

Glass Beads


Book - 2017
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Theseshort stories interconnect the friendships of four First Nations people -- Everett Kaiswatim, Nellie Gordon, Julie Papequash, and Nathan (Taz) Mosquito -- as the collection evolves over two decades against the cultural, political, and historical backdrop of the 90s and early 2000s.

These young people are among the first of their families to live off the reserve for most of their adult lives, and must adapt and evolve. In stories like "Stranger Danger", we watch how shy Julie, though supported by her roomies, is filled with apprehension as she goes on her first white-guy date, while years later in "Two Years Less A Day" we witness her change as her worries and vulnerability are put to the real test when she is unjustly convicted in a violent melee and must serve some jail time. "The House and Things That Can Be Taken" establishes how the move from the city both excites and intimidate reserve youth -- respectively, how a young man finds a job or a young woman becomes vulnerable in the bar scene. As well as developing her characters experientially, Dumont carefully contrasts them, as we see in the fragile and uncertain Everett and the culturally strong and independent but reckless Taz.

As the four friends experience family catastrophes, broken friendships, travel to Mexico, and the aftermath of the great tragedy of 9/11, readers are intimately connected with each struggle, whether it is with racism, isolation, finding their cultural identity, or repairing the wounds of their upbringing.

Publisher: Saskatoon :, Thistledown Press,, ©2017.
ISBN: 9781771871266
Branch Call Number: FICTION DUM
Characteristics: 266 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

List - Heart Berries
Tereasa_M Feb 01, 2019

A collection of fun but painful short stories that weave and dive into the lives of four First Nations people starting out as young people in the 1990s to adults over two decades. These young people are among the first of their families to live off the reserve for most of their adult lives, and m... Read More »

List - Shorts
Jessica_c Jul 06, 2017

Through these stories and over two decades we follow the lives, and not insignificant struggles, of four First Nations friends who attempt to live off the reserve.

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Sep 25, 2018

First I have to say what a marvelous cover this book has. Wow--does it ever capture the experiences of the main character as she crosses into different segments of society. Beautiful artwork.

I didn't realize until halfway through the book that each chapter was a different story that was well placed behind the chapter in front of it. I see now that the title says GLASS BEADS Stories. I was happy that it had a lot of dialogue, although I was exhausted by the very extensive use of the word f*****. It just wore me down. The experience of these girls throughout their lives was eye opening and to me discouraging, but I was glad to see whenever they overcame obstacles in their lives. This is a book definitely worth reading.

SPL_Shauna Aug 09, 2018

*Glass Beads* is a near-perfect little book. It's got the frame of a saga - following two couples from their early years on a reservation, through college, and into their adult years. But, it's under 300 pages, and reads like lightning. And, it's jam-packed with all the drama you'd expect when you follow two couples whose histories are so intimately intertwined.

But, far from being a simple, dishy read, *Glass Beads* is also a gritty, beautifully crafted rendering of the lives of Indigenous youth in the 90s and aughts. It grapples with the legacy of colonialism with a fearless elegance and intersectional sensibility. *Glass Beads* is a great pick for a vacation, a book club, or as a virtuous yet dishy distraction.

shokolit Sep 16, 2017

The story of friendship between two aboriginal friends: Nellie and Julie and their boyfriends. The story spans over 2 decades. Its a beautiful, somewhat sad, story, well written and definitely worth reading.

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