Eric Gansworth | Apple (skin to the core)
How about a book that makes you barge into your boss's office to read a page of poetry from? That you dream of? That every movie, song, book, moment that follows continues to evoke in some way?
The term "Apple" is a slur in Native communities across the country. It's for someone supposedly "red on the outside, white on the inside." Eric Gansworth is telling his story in Apple (Skin to the Core). The story of his family, of Onondaga among Tuscaroras, of Native folks everywhere. From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds. Eric shatters that slur and reclaims it in verse and prose and imagery that truly lives up to the word heartbreaking.
About the Author
Shelf Starter: Extra Indians by Eric Gansworth (Milkweed Editions, $16 trade paper, 9781571310798/1571310797, November 4, 2010) Opening lines from a book we want to read: People are always wishing on falling stars, trying to see them, lying out under the nighttime sky, scanning back and forth, just hoping to spot one, and usually the ones they catch are fleeting, almost out of sight, vague impressions in their peripheral vision. Then they speed-wish, going as fast as they can, the lines they have rehearsed all day, maybe wishes they've written on the steam in the bathroom mirror after their morning showers, or on napkins at lunch, ink bleeding their desires away into accidental coffee spills, but they still do it, and try to get it out before the star burns dead away and cancels their dreams on account of their too-slow brains. --selected by Marilyn Dahl