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Fiction Native American & Aboriginal

Beautiful Beautiful

A Novel

by (author) Brandon Reid

Publisher
Nightwood Editions
Initial publish date
Nov 2023
Category
Native American & Aboriginal, Coming of Age, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780889714540
    Publish Date
    Nov 2023
    List Price
    $24.95

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Description

Imbued with passion, creativity and insight, Brandon Reid’s debut novel is a wonderfully creative coming-of-age story exploring indigeneity, masculinity and cultural tradition.

Twelve-year-old Derik Mormin travels with his father and a family friend to Bella Bella for his grandfather’s funeral. Along the way, he uncovers the traumatic history of his ancestors, considers his relationship to masculinity and explores the contrast between rural and urban lifestyles in hopes of reconciling the seemingly unreconcilable, the beauty of each the Indigenous and “Western” way of life—hence beautiful beautiful.

He travails a storm, meets long-lost relatives, discovers his ancestral homeland; he suffers through catching fish, gains and loses companions, learns to heal trauma. In Beautiful Beautiful we delve into the mind of a gifted boy who struggles to find his role and persona through elusive circumstance, and—

All right, that’s quite enough third-person pandering; you’re not fooling anyone. Redbird here, Derik’s babysitter, and narrator of this here story. Make sure to smash that like button. We’re here to bring light to an otherwise grave subject, friends. It’s only natural to laugh while crying. I bring story to life. One minute I’m a songbird singing from a bough, the next, I’m rapture. I connect you to the realm of spirit… Well, as best I can, given your mundane allocation.

Follow us through primordial visions, dance with a cannibal (don’t worry, they’re friendly once tamed) and discover what it takes to be united. Together, we’ll have fun. Together, we are one. So tuck in, and believe what you’ll believe, for who knows what yesterday brings. Amen and all my relations, all my relations and amen.

About the author

Brandon Reid holds a B.Ed. from UBC with a specialization in Indigenous education, and a journalism diploma from Langara College. His work has been published in the Barely South Review, the Richmond Review and The Province. He is a member of the Heiltsuk First Nation, with a mix of Indigenous and English ancestry. He resides in Richmond, BC, where he works as a TTOC. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, playing music and listening to comedy podcasts. His debut novel, Beautiful Beautiful, was published with Nightwood Editions in fall 2023.

Brandon Reid's profile page

Awards

  • Short-listed, William Saroyan International Prize for Writing
  • Short-listed, Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Editorial Reviews

Beautiful Beautiful is a fitting title for Brandon Reid's novel, for it describes the work itself—it's simply beautiful. Reid manages to capture hypnotic traditional storytelling in written form—by stretching, manipulating and breaking traditional rules and conventions of the English language. Reid draws us into the tormentous but stunning world of a boy who, while young in years, is an ancient soul. Through brilliant description, mind-blowing shifting of perspective and a brilliant use of the boy's internal voice, we join the daily toils of a Heiltsuk family as they struggle to live off the capricious bounty of the Pacific Ocean. Like Omar El Akkad’s What Strange Paradise, Beautiful Beautiful stakes out new ground in the literary scene.”

Darrel J. McLeod, author of <i>A Season in Chezgh’un<i>

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