Stories for a Lost Child
by Carter Meland
The summer before going into high school, Fiona receives a mysterious
box in the mail, one that she hopes will answer her questions about her
Anishinaabe Indian heritage. It contains stories written by the
grandfather she never knew, an Anishinaabe man her mother refuses to
talk about. As she reads his stories about blackbirds and bigfoot, as
well as tales about Indians in space and homeless Native men camping by
the river in Minneapolis, Fiona finds other questions arising--questions
about her grandfather and the experiences that shaped his stories,
questions about her mother's silence regarding the grandfather she never
knew. Fiona's desire to know more and her mother's reluctance to share
stir up bitter feelings of anger and disappointment that slowly
transform as she reads the stories into a warmer understanding of the
difficulties of family, love, and the weight of the past.
“Meland’s novel is a wild journey of the imagination that skyrockets the reader through time, space and history. We’re introduced to the growling poetic music of the deep swamp’s Sasquatch, thrilling sci-fi adventures of Indians in space, and a flipped script of significant moments in history: stories within stories that illuminate core truths of what it is to be human, what it is to fail and rise and heal. A must-read!”
—Susan Power, author of The Grass Dancer and Sacred Wilderness.
"Wonderfully imaginative with a sharp tongue and a gentle touch. Meland's prose is a magic potion for a dysfunctional world. First books shouldn't be this good."
—Thomas King, author of The Inconvenient Indian and The Back of the Turtle.
"Stories for a Lost Child is a magnificent stitching together of distinctive narrative voices, surreal images, and poetic language that together create an innovative from with great heart. While space travel and eccentric characters give this novel a lightness and ease, the story of a lost child leads to a deeper understanding of the challenges facing Native people today: loss of language and culture, identity confusion, and generational trauma. Meland navigates these topics by moving from a brilliant rendition of Sasquatch to an old priest to a young girl and beyond, providing a compelling storyline that pulls the reader through the shifts in voice and form. Any reader who appreciates skillfully rendered, imaginative stories will find this book and exceptional read."
— Diane Wilson, author of Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past and Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life.