#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Annick Press
Trigger Warnings: violence, sexual assault, racism, violence against Native peoples
My Rating: ★★
Goodreads Summary: Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous women across North America resound in this book. In the same style as the best-selling Dreaming in Indian, #NotYourPrincess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, humiliation, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women making themselves heard and demanding change. Sometimes angry, often reflective, but always strong, the women in this book will give teen readers insight into the lives of women who, for so long, have been virtually invisible.
I received this book as an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
I don’t feel like I have a ton to say about this book. When I first saw this on Netgalley, I was super excited to see some native voices in literature. I really, really appreciated what this book was trying to do. However, the formatting of the book detracted so much from the anthology that I found it incredibly difficult to read. Most of the pages in the book had nothing but designs on them (not art made by the Native Women who created the book but literally just designs and borders on blank pages), which ended up really detracting from my reading experience.
In addition, the stories themselves, while I would say were generally pretty good, were not especially interesting, and there didn’t seem to be any kind of organization as I went through the book, so I kept getting confused as I moved from one piece to the next. I think this anthology would have worked a bit better if they’d organized it by either time or publication type (short stories, then poems, then art, etc).
Overall, I feel like this had a lot of potential, and I appreciated that we are highlighting Native Female voices in the literary community. However, the apparent lack of formatting really detracted from what the book was trying to highlight, and I came out of it feeling like I hadn’t really learned anything or gained anything from the story, because I’d been so distracted by the parts of the book that weren’t important. I’d love to read more anthologies and works like this, but with less focus on visual things and more focus on the actual works being produced.