Thinning Blood: A Memoir of Family, Myth, and Identity
Biographies GeneralLetters & Essays
Publisher Price: $25.95
Publisher: W W Norton & Co
Published: May 16 2023
Height: 0.78 Width: 5.85 Depth: 8.53
Leah Myers may be the last member of the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe in her family line, due to her tribe's strict blood quantum laws. In this unflinching and intimate memoir, Myers excavates the stories of four generations of women in order to leave a record of her family. Beginning with her great-grandmother, the last full-blooded Native member in their lineage, she connects each woman with her totem to construct her family's totem pole: protective Bear, defiant Salmon, compassionate Hummingbird, and perched on top, Raven.
As she pieces together their stories, Myers weaves in tribal folktales, the history of the Native genocide, and Native mythology. Throughout, she tells the larger story of how, as she puts it, her culture is being bleached out, offering sharp vignettes of her own life between White and Native worlds: her naive childhood love for Pocahontas, her struggles with the Klallam language, the violence she faced at the hands of a close White friend as a teenager.
Crisp and powerful, Thinning Blood is at once a bold reclamation of one woman's identity and a searingly honest meditation on heritage, family, and what it means to belong.