Gift Guide Week: Francine Cunningham

December 1, 2022

For today’s ALU Gift Guide picks, Francine Cunningham, author of God Isn't Here Today (Invisible Publishing) and On/Me (Caitlin Press) gives us her holiday recommendations — from something for the sci-fi nerd in your life, to your gossipy co-worker.

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Francine Cunningham's Picks

 

Buffalo is the new Buffalo by Chelsea Vowel (Arsenal Pulp Press)

Gift for the loveable sci-fi/futurism nerd in your life, even if that’s just you.

What if the buffalo were never nearly erased from our lives? What if things were different in the past and made different this future? This book of stories explores the ways in which the world could be or could have been made different. Using the backdrop of Indigenous Futurisms and science fiction Chelsea Vowel astounds in this beautiful and exciting collection of Metis storytelling ranging from radioactive buffalo, virtual reality, foxes who make their way into the human world and bring to the reader a glimpse into the what if of the past and future and hopefully the present. Indigenous storytelling at its finest. This book is one for the person in your life who like to imagine with limitless possibilities the world that could be.

 

Letterati by Paul Mccarthy (ECW Press)

Gift for that person who is obsessed with board games but can’t find anyone to play with them.

Do you have someone in your life who loves board games and doesn’t have enough people to fill the playing void? Or maybe someone who just loves the truth behind everything that exists? This is a great book that explores the history of one of the best-known word board games. Scramble has been evolving in the shadows, growing from home living rooms to larger scale tournaments, with players who are fighting to advance the game while at the same time being limited by the very company who owns it. This book will bring you into the lives of the players, the Letterati, and will show you the reader the long and winding path of a game that at its heart is about loving words. So do yourself, and your games night friends a gift, and go on a deep dive of this game and maybe after, play a few rounds.

 

A Magical Sturgeon by Joseph Dandurand, Illustrated by Elinor Atkins (Nightwood Editions)

Gift for any child who needs an extra ‘one more book’ before bed.

The illustrations and words presented in the style of the Kwantlen people in this magical book will have the kids in your life swooning with happiness before they tuck into some magical dreams of their own. The story of the sturgeon is presented in a fun and loving way that allows the reader to know reciprocity with the natural environments around them with special attention paid to the act of giving thanks and being in balance. Sturgeon plays such an important role in the lives of the Indigenous people whom waterways they fill. This book presents their role and importance in the daily lives of these families and the kinship we all share. Told through the story of two sisters we follow the mighty sturgeon and get to glimpse the scales of history through the rippling of the waters of story.

 

nedi nezu (Good Medicine) by Tenille Campbell (Arsenal Pulp Press)

Gift for that nosy relative or friend, maybe even fellow gossipy co-worker.

When is the last time you sat down for some treats and tea, both the chatting kind and the warm drink? This book will give you the feeling of sitting and chatting with your most precious of friends, the kind that last your whole life. You will sit and share with Tenielle the ups and downs of life, love, sex, and all that there is in-between. Indigenous love and medicine fills the lines of this book, and along with a beautiful cover you have beautiful words chosen and crafted by a master poet. You will shed a few tears and you will for sure give up some big belly laughs as you bring yourself some good medicine with the reading and gifting of this book. So do yourself and all the aunties in your life some good and gift to them and yourself something happy and meaningful this holiday season.

 

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Many thanks to Francine Cunningham for her gift guide picks! Catch up on our expert recommenders' picks here.


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