This Accident of Being Lost

This Accident of Being Lost is the knife-sharp new collection of stories and songs from award-winning Nishnaabeg storyteller and writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson. These visionary pieces build upon Simpson's powerful use of the fragment as a tool for intervention in her critically acclaimed collection Islands of Decolonial Love. Provocateur and poet, she continually rebirths a decolonized reality, one that circles in and out of time and resists dominant narratives or comfortable categorization. A crow watches over a deer addicted to road salt; Lake Ontario floods Toronto to remake the world while texting "ARE THEY GETTING IT?"; lovers visit the last remaining corner of the boreal forest; three comrades guerrilla-tap maples in an upper middle-class neighbourhood; and Kwe gets her firearms license in rural Ontario. Blending elements of Nishnaabeg storytelling, science fiction, contemporary realism, and the lyric voice, This Accident of Being Lost burns with a quiet intensity, like a campfire in your backyard, challenging you to reconsider the world you thought you knew.

“Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s genre-defying This Accident of Being Lost is like no other book you will ever read in your life.

In a luminous interweaving of Nishnaabeg storytelling, narrative, and poetry, she constructs linked fragments in which the natural world threads through a sharp urban realm and both the sacred and profane coexist. Her intimate fictions are populated with diverse characters—a mother and child at a city ballet, lovers in a sacred boreal forest, a woman attending a firearms training course. Visionary in scope, Simpson creates decolonialized realities where the routine of day-to-day life is alive with ceremony and illumination. These are shimmering stories etched with humour, anger, and above all, love and kindness.
— 2017 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury