Author Debra Magpie Earling will read from her new novel, “The Lost Journals of Sacajewea,” at a book launch on Friday, May 19, at the Missoula Art Museum with Fact & Fiction.
Earling, a Bitterroot Salish tribal member, won an American Book Award for her 2002 novel, “Perma Red.”
Her new book will be released on May 23 by Milkweed Editions, which brought “Perma” back into print last year. She’ll sign copies after the reading and a discussion with Peter Koch, a Missoula native and master printer based in Berkeley, California.
According to a MAM news release, “The Lost Journals” originated with a project at the museum in 2005, when they invited Indigenous artists to create work for an exhibition during the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.
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Earling wrote a poem in Sacajewea’s voice. Later, she and Koch collaborated on a limited edition art book for the text, which she’s since expanded into her new novel, which the MAM called an "unconventional and poetic voice."
A starred review in Kirkus said, “What we discover here is a startlingly new perspective on watershed historical events, particularly as they relate to the contributions of Native Americans in both aiding and resisting Western expansion across the continent in the early 19th century.”
Among her other honors, Earling has received a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was the first Indigenous director of the University of Montana’s Creative Writing Program.
Details: Free. Doors at 5 p.m. Reading at 6. Music by Dylan and Joseph Running Crane. Hors d’oeuvres and a no-host bar.