Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk (Hardcover)

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An Indigenous artist blends the aesthetics of punk rock with the traditional spiritual practices of the women in her lineage in this bold, contemporary journey to reclaim her heritage and unleash her power and voice while searching for a permanent home

Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe has always longed for a sense of home. When she was a child, her family moved around frequently, often staying in barely habitable church attics and trailers, dangerous places for young Sasha.
With little more to guide her than a passion for the thriving punk scene of the Pacific Northwest and a desire to live up to the responsibility of being the namesake of her beloved great-grandmother—a linguist who helped preserve her Indigenous language of Lushootseed—Sasha throws herself headlong into the world, determined to build a better future for herself and her people.
Set against a backdrop of the breathtaking beauty of Coast Salish ancestral land and imbued with the universal spirit of punk, Red Paint is ultimately a story of the ways we learn to find our true selves while fighting for our right to claim a place of our own.
Examining what it means to be vulnerable in love and in art, Sasha offers up an unblinking reckoning with personal traumas amplified by the collective historical traumas of colonialism and genocide that continue to haunt native peoples. Red Paint is an intersectional autobiography of lineage, resilience, and, above all, the ability to heal.

About the Author

Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe is a Coast Salish author from the Nooksack and Upper Skagit Indian tribes. She received a double MFA in Creative Nonfiction and Poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts. She lives in Tacoma, Washington.

Praise For…

A NYLON Most Anticipated Book of the Year
An Electric Literature Most Anticipated Title of the Year
A BookPage Most Anticipated Nonfiction Book of the Year
The Millions, A Most Anticipated Book of the Year

"Throughout [Red Paint], the author deftly navigates multiple timelines, weaving in and out of family history, personal narrative, and a host of other tangential topics . . . Although the author does not shy away from heartache and sorrow, readers are welcomed on what is ultimately a healing journey that will stick in their memories. An engaging, poetic, educative examination of the search for home and personal and cultural identity." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[A] stirring debut . . . LaPointe writes in lucid vignettes that alternate between past and present as she reflects on her ancestors, Salish medicine workers who 'faced violence, disease, and genocide' . . . LaPointe’s fresh and urgent perspective on Indigenous culture is enthralling." —Publishers Weekly

"Red Paint is an ode to healing and to healers, told by someone who intimately knows both. Steeped in punk music and poetry, it is an ode to indigenous inheritance, and to the work and wisdom necessary to recover from the legacies of trauma. It is the truest kind of love story: one in which every lover is a MacGuffin, propelling its narrator toward the person who matters most—herself." —Melissa Febos, author of Girlhood

Red Paint is a miraculous book. Sasha LaPointe walks us through the sites of her evisceration while rebuilding a home within her body using sturdy materials: rose quartz, cedar bark, red clay, and the words of her ancestors. With each potent sentence, she shows us what access to power looks like. She shows us how to become whole.” —Elissa Washuta, author of White Magic

"As luminous as the morning sun over the fir forests, Red Paint is a story of where strength takes us. Sasha taqwšəblu LaPointe goes looking to the past to help heal from terrible traumas, finding inspiration in her ancestors, the Salish people. This is a book destined to be a classic. Read it." —Rene Denfeld, bestselling author of The Child Finder

Product Details
ISBN: 9781640094147
ISBN-10: 1640094148
Publisher: Counterpoint
Publication Date: March 8th, 2022
Pages: 208
Language: English