ALU Summer Book Club: Follow-up Reads after Humane

If the thought of finishing our July book club pick Humane by Anna Marie Sewell (Stonehouse Publishing) has you yelling, “oh, the humanity!” – don’t fret. We’ve rounded up four follow-up reads to this gripping Indigenous crime novel.


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If you loved the strong women determined to help each other in Humane:

Read The Narrows of Fear (Wapawikoscikanik) by Carol Rose GoldenEagle (Inanna Publications)

From Hazel’s “private” private eye practice dedicated to help finding missing Indigenous women and girls, to her daughter Missy’s “John Takedown” website aiming to make perpetrators of violence known, to her sister Sandra’s careful insights and advice, Humane is filled with women who make a point to look out for one another, in myriad ways. Such is the case in Cree and Dene author Carol Rose GoldenEagle’s 2020 novel The Narrows of Fear (Wapawikoscikanik), where women who’ve suffered both personal and structural abuses find healing in their culture and in one another.

If you were interested in the particular complexities of being Indigenous in an urban centre:

Read The Big Melt by Emily Riddle (Nightwood Editions)

Just as Anna Marie Sewell imagines what a futuristic Edmonton might look like – and what Indigenous peoples’ places in it might be – through Humane‘s Amiskwaciy, Nehiyaw poet Emily Riddle examines her own visions of “prairie ndn utopia” amidst encroaching capitalism and climate change. These poems trouble the tension between the collective and the individual, centring women’s experiences as she looks both backward into ways of knowing and forward into the future, bringing that knowing to bear on urban life.

If you particularly loved Humane‘s “crime + creatures” formula:

Read Roanoke Ridge by J.J. Dupuis (Dundurn Press)

If the sense that the suspects in Hazel’s case weren’t quite what they seemed was what you loved most about Humane, any of J.J. Dupuis’ Creature X mysteries would be a great follow-up read. But we pick Roanoke Ridge above the others for the skepticism of main character Laura Reagan – matching Hazel’s nicely, we think – and the bigfoot of it all, which we’ll leave for you to find out.

If you really, really don’t want to say goodbye to the world

of Humane at all:

Read Urbane by Anna Marie Sewell (Stonehouse Publishing)

One of the best things about Humane is that it really doesn’t have to end. As we learned in our interviews with Stonehouse Publisher Netta Johnson and author Anna Marie Sewell earlier this month, the book’s sequel Urbane continues the story, examining the urban-rural divide for Indigenous folks as Hazel attempts to get her land back from her ex, and expanding the storylines of favourite characters like Shanaya and Devin.

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That’s a wrap on Humane! We’ve had such a blast reading this book with you all this month (and if you did miss out, you didn’t, really: the book is still 15% off for the rest of the summer and you can catch up on all of our book club happenings, here).

Next up for August is Kat Sandler’s play Yaga (Playwrights Canada Press) – see you in the car!