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Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk

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An Indigenous artist blends the aesthetics of punk rock with the traditional spiritual practices of the women in her lineage in this bold, contemporary journey to reclaim her heritage and unleash her power and voice while searching for a permanent home. Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe has always longed for a sense of home. When she was a child, her family moved around frequently, An Indigenous artist blends the aesthetics of punk rock with the traditional spiritual practices of the women in her lineage in this bold, contemporary journey to reclaim her heritage and unleash her power and voice while searching for a permanent home. Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe has always longed for a sense of home. When she was a child, her family moved around frequently, often staying in barely habitable church attics and trailers, dangerous places for young Sasha. With little more to guide her than a passion for the thriving punk scene of the Pacific Northwest and a desire to live up to the responsibility of being the namesake of her beloved great-grandmother—a linguist who helped preserve her Indigenous language of Lushootseed—Sasha throws herself headlong into the world, determined to build a better future for herself and her people. Set against a backdrop of the breathtaking beauty of Coast Salish ancestral land and imbued with the universal spirit of punk, Red Paint is ultimately a story of the ways we learn to find our true selves while fighting for our right to claim a place of our own. Examining what it means to be vulnerable in love and in art, Sasha offers up an unblinking reckoning with personal traumas amplified by the collective historical traumas of colonialism and genocide that continue to haunt native peoples. Red Paint is an intersectional autobiography of lineage, resilience, and, above all, the ability to heal.


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An Indigenous artist blends the aesthetics of punk rock with the traditional spiritual practices of the women in her lineage in this bold, contemporary journey to reclaim her heritage and unleash her power and voice while searching for a permanent home. Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe has always longed for a sense of home. When she was a child, her family moved around frequently, An Indigenous artist blends the aesthetics of punk rock with the traditional spiritual practices of the women in her lineage in this bold, contemporary journey to reclaim her heritage and unleash her power and voice while searching for a permanent home. Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe has always longed for a sense of home. When she was a child, her family moved around frequently, often staying in barely habitable church attics and trailers, dangerous places for young Sasha. With little more to guide her than a passion for the thriving punk scene of the Pacific Northwest and a desire to live up to the responsibility of being the namesake of her beloved great-grandmother—a linguist who helped preserve her Indigenous language of Lushootseed—Sasha throws herself headlong into the world, determined to build a better future for herself and her people. Set against a backdrop of the breathtaking beauty of Coast Salish ancestral land and imbued with the universal spirit of punk, Red Paint is ultimately a story of the ways we learn to find our true selves while fighting for our right to claim a place of our own. Examining what it means to be vulnerable in love and in art, Sasha offers up an unblinking reckoning with personal traumas amplified by the collective historical traumas of colonialism and genocide that continue to haunt native peoples. Red Paint is an intersectional autobiography of lineage, resilience, and, above all, the ability to heal.

30 review for Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sonja

    A memoir of an Indigenous female from the greater Seattle area as she grows as a writer and artist. Very vulnerable, interesting read about places I was familiar with but through a different lens.

  2. 4 out of 5

    S.

    I feel like a read a different novel than the rest of the commentators. All these comments of “raw”, “powerful”, and “beautifully written” and I’m here wondering how they managed to get that reaction from the stilted, jerking novel centered on a nearly 40 year old women’s fits of hysteria about everything from driving in the snow to not being able to have the honeymoon she wanted. LaPointe then ties her first-world temper tantrums and back to her ancestor’s actual trauma, which vacillates betwee I feel like a read a different novel than the rest of the commentators. All these comments of “raw”, “powerful”, and “beautifully written” and I’m here wondering how they managed to get that reaction from the stilted, jerking novel centered on a nearly 40 year old women’s fits of hysteria about everything from driving in the snow to not being able to have the honeymoon she wanted. LaPointe then ties her first-world temper tantrums and back to her ancestor’s actual trauma, which vacillates between incredible tone-deaf to down right insulting. “ My great-great-great ancestor had to live in a shack where she was basically enslaved by a white man she married, but I was gifted some land that I sold so I was able to buy a house outright in one of the most expensive areas in the country, but, like, not the nicest part of town. People drive Kias around here. So it’s basically the same.” Were there some sad and difficult things that happened to LaPointe? Oh sure. Most of us have those by the time we get to middle age. Was there any feeling like her reaction to the sad and difficult things lead to growth, maturity, or becoming a better and stronger woman? No. There is a point early on in the book where LaPointe is complaining that the security key code that unlocks her parent’s house is set to 1492—the year Columbus sailed the ocean blue—and that no one knows how to change it. Keep in mind this is an autobiography where she describes her parents and where they live. Finding their actual address would take all of a quick Google search. So the reader is left wondering is LaPointe really so stupid that she would put the actual security code that allows people into her parent’s house in a pretty major city in Washington into a book with zero concerns for their safety; or is she so melodramatic that she is going to write an entire page about how insulting she finds a security code that she made up in her head just so she could complain about it? The whole book was like that--is she just this naïve and self-absorbed that she has zero idea of how her actions are absolutely inappropriate, or is she such a drama queen that she is constantly making up things to be upset about because it makes her feel special? We may never know.

  3. 5 out of 5

    maddox jacobs

    Man...if I wanted to hear about people making terrible choices in relationships, I'd text my friends Man...if I wanted to hear about people making terrible choices in relationships, I'd text my friends

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rachael Telford

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Spoiler for Content Warning: pregnancy loss and sexual assault. This book will not be for everyone, and that's a damn shame, because it is incredible. It will stick with me for a long time. Spoiler for Content Warning: pregnancy loss and sexual assault. This book will not be for everyone, and that's a damn shame, because it is incredible. It will stick with me for a long time.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sarah-Tyler Moore

    A truly unique, courageous, reverently irreverent memoir. The author is indigenous by blood, punk rock by choice. This duality is embodied throughout her writing and self-reflection. I know some reviewers found it meandering or disorganized. To me, the structure of the book was intentionally meandering, so as to reflect the beautiful and tumultuous journey of discovering your true self while honoring your past. I reject the idea that anyone (let alone a reader) has the right to scrutinize or ana A truly unique, courageous, reverently irreverent memoir. The author is indigenous by blood, punk rock by choice. This duality is embodied throughout her writing and self-reflection. I know some reviewers found it meandering or disorganized. To me, the structure of the book was intentionally meandering, so as to reflect the beautiful and tumultuous journey of discovering your true self while honoring your past. I reject the idea that anyone (let alone a reader) has the right to scrutinize or analyze another person’s coping and trauma — be it sexual, emotional, systemic, et al. The stories captured aren’t mine to tell, therefore they aren’t mine to judge.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    I totally had no idea what this book was about. For some reason I thought it was going to be about punk rock. I was so wrong. And this book was so fantastic! I am glad I did not know what I was going to read. It is about Sasha who is of the Coast Salish tribe. She tells her story and intersperses her ancestor, Comptia, story in it also. Sasha tells of moving around a lot as a child and the abuse and assaults she lived through. It was not until she looked back on her past that she was able to cal I totally had no idea what this book was about. For some reason I thought it was going to be about punk rock. I was so wrong. And this book was so fantastic! I am glad I did not know what I was going to read. It is about Sasha who is of the Coast Salish tribe. She tells her story and intersperses her ancestor, Comptia, story in it also. Sasha tells of moving around a lot as a child and the abuse and assaults she lived through. It was not until she looked back on her past that she was able to call it what it was. She speaks of the two main men in her life--Richard and Brandon--and the love she had with each but neither was enough to help her heal. She had to learn how to heal herself with the help of her female ancestors. I liked that she brought Comptia's story into this book as I learned something about the history and culture of the Skagit River area of Washington, a place I know so little of. I admire Sasha, her healing, and her going into her future. I am so glad I read this. Just wonderful!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leah Andrews

    A powerful memoir. I love the compassion and tenderness in Sasha taqwšəblu LaPointe's writing. Put this on your "to-read" list. A powerful memoir. I love the compassion and tenderness in Sasha taqwšəblu LaPointe's writing. Put this on your "to-read" list.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    When Sasha was three years old, she was gifted with the Skagit family name, Taqsablu, by her great-grandmother-- she was going to do important things in this life. LaPointe comes from generations of enduring women, and alongside her story, she tells us of Comptia Koholowish, who fled from the Smallpox epidemic that destroyed her village and family, eventually marrying a Scottish settler in what's now called Astoria, Oregon. Throughout this raw memoir, LaPointe tells of significant pieces in her When Sasha was three years old, she was gifted with the Skagit family name, Taqsablu, by her great-grandmother-- she was going to do important things in this life. LaPointe comes from generations of enduring women, and alongside her story, she tells us of Comptia Koholowish, who fled from the Smallpox epidemic that destroyed her village and family, eventually marrying a Scottish settler in what's now called Astoria, Oregon. Throughout this raw memoir, LaPointe tells of significant pieces in her life filled with music, travel, and writing, often paired with heartbreak and healing of many varieties; some familial and romantic, some physical and spiritual. Red Paint is an emotional, impactful, and brilliantly constructed narrative that celebrates and honors LaPointe's ancestral history as well as her own history in the making.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mindy

    This is a quick read, but it kicks you in the teeth.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    Sasha has crafted something so special here. Part memoir, part intergenerational trauma exorcism… she delves into some incredibly painful and transformative chapters of her life and in doing so takes the reader on her journey of transformation and maturation. I was thoroughly riveted by every section of this book and my heart ached with her’s at the breakdown of her marriage, at her longing for a real home, and her miscarriage. Beyond this, she explores the legacy of colonialism and the deeper h Sasha has crafted something so special here. Part memoir, part intergenerational trauma exorcism… she delves into some incredibly painful and transformative chapters of her life and in doing so takes the reader on her journey of transformation and maturation. I was thoroughly riveted by every section of this book and my heart ached with her’s at the breakdown of her marriage, at her longing for a real home, and her miscarriage. Beyond this, she explores the legacy of colonialism and the deeper history of this land and her family’s connections to it in a thoroughly refreshing and inspiring way. She is absolutely one of the healers, may her art and poetry be a salve for us all.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cerealflakes

    This memoir sounded interesting - a woman from the Coast Salish tribe who liked punk rock and who grew up in an area I am very familiar with. Unfortunately, I found the book poorly written and disorganized. What saved it from being one star were the sections about the history of her family.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cody The Warlock

    Sasha LaPointe's ancestral autobiography shares her experiences and reflections on everything from relationships to punk rock, art, history, generational trauma, and mental/spiritual healing. In almost every chapter the author and/or her family are blindsided by heartache. But Sasha and her ancestors remained resilient when facing challenges few people would be able to truly understand. They demonstrate just how powerful those elements of life like music, art, and culture can be even when it app Sasha LaPointe's ancestral autobiography shares her experiences and reflections on everything from relationships to punk rock, art, history, generational trauma, and mental/spiritual healing. In almost every chapter the author and/or her family are blindsided by heartache. But Sasha and her ancestors remained resilient when facing challenges few people would be able to truly understand. They demonstrate just how powerful those elements of life like music, art, and culture can be even when it appears everything's been taken from you. Sasha never forgets to acknowledge and thank her ancestors with each successful push through pain, and I think that makes this book a beautiful tribute to Coast Salish women. The stories shared on these pages can be brutally honest and sad, but I think it is all necessary for Sasha's healing and for readers to gain deeper perspective of issues involving sexism, racism, mental health, poverty, genocide, misrepresentation, and marginalization. Her writing never comes off as a sociology lesson or anything, it's just that her work is organically thought-provoking. For me, it reinforced questions I've had and brought upon new ones as well. "Why aren't we teaching Lushootseed in all PNW schools?" or "Why does my town's history sign say this land was​ the homeland of [indigenous peoples]?" or "Why isn't there a Chinook Goonie?" With all that said, I can happily recommend it to readers who are ready to empathize with someone else's struggles while also considering larger, broader social issues around us. I think that's a good practice for anyone, but it can be particularly beneficial for white dudes like me. I look forward to reading/listening to Sasha LaPointe's work in the future and wish her the best of luck! Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm

    I don't know much about punk rock, did not know a thing about the author, and was intrigued by everything about it. LaPointe's story is one of heartbreak, journeys, trauma, love, loss, stories, family and everything in between. It's not just hers, but the story of her family, her ancestors, and more. LaPointe takes us through her life, including her childhood, her family, young love and her marriage, breakup and aftermath. Interwoven are stories of her family and ancestors. As you can imagine, at I don't know much about punk rock, did not know a thing about the author, and was intrigued by everything about it. LaPointe's story is one of heartbreak, journeys, trauma, love, loss, stories, family and everything in between. It's not just hers, but the story of her family, her ancestors, and more. LaPointe takes us through her life, including her childhood, her family, young love and her marriage, breakup and aftermath. Interwoven are stories of her family and ancestors. As you can imagine, at times it is not a happy one. Dealing with issues ranging from poverty to loss to sexual abuse and assault, pregnancy, divorce, a miscarriage, etc. it can definitely be a lot to take in. Ultimately I found the book very readable, but at times it was a bit dull for me. I totally understand that the author wanted to tell a specific story and I ached for her loss and how generational trauma, etc. all likely played a part in the story she told us. But I personally wasn't very interested in reading of a dissolution of a marriage and her romantic relationships. Again, that is part of her story and journey here and the book covers a specific part of her life. It just wasn't for me. That said, I'll bet there are many who will find her book wonderful. And even if you are not Native, there are likely lots that many could relate to in terms of dealing with issues such as poverty, reproductive health, navigating relationships, etc. I would imagine those specifically following her work would probably enjoy this, too. And as mentioned, there are lots of tough topics in this memoir which are not avoidable as a heads up. I did not mind reading it (sometimes a huge gamble when I randomly pick up books) although a library borrow was probably best for me.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Erin Stitch Witch Reading

    This was a deeply moving memoir about finding ways to heal personal and inter generational trauma and I absolutely loved it. Although it was a very emotional book with very dark content I felt it maintained hope throughout. And as someone who also has panic attacks and PTSD I found it very relatable. It was also fun to read about a fellow Tacoman, I’ve never read a book before and known all of the places mentioned. Now excuse me while I go listen to Bikini Kill.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anna Houghton

    i have not been moved by a book in this way for years. brought me to tears at multiple points. some of the most visceral and transportive writing i’ve ever read. an amazing introduction to what this author can bring to the literary table, and i cannot wait to read more from her.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Casey

    This will very likely be my favorite book of 2022. Highly recommended for anyone that grew up on the WA I-5 corridor.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Robert Perry

    One of the best autobiographies I have read. Weaving her own story in with her ancestors has a powerful impact.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Desiree

    This is a brief and heartbreaking memoir, with beautiful and gripping writing. I would caution that punk music is not as huge an element as some might go into this expecting! It's a background to what is primarily a narrative of reckoning with and learning to heal from trauma and the effects of PTSD. I feel it's especially interesting to folks local to the Western Washington and Oregon region, learning bits of history we don't often hear about places we're familiar with and the Coast Salish peop This is a brief and heartbreaking memoir, with beautiful and gripping writing. I would caution that punk music is not as huge an element as some might go into this expecting! It's a background to what is primarily a narrative of reckoning with and learning to heal from trauma and the effects of PTSD. I feel it's especially interesting to folks local to the Western Washington and Oregon region, learning bits of history we don't often hear about places we're familiar with and the Coast Salish peoples who were here first. There are some really heavy topics handled here, often graphically, so please check content warnings if you need to (note that some are effectively SPOILERS to the narrative of the memoir): (view spoiler)[Sexual assault (including of a child), unplanned pregnancy, miscarriage, PTSD, depression, anxiety, suicidality & attempts, anti-Indigenous racism & genocide. (hide spoiler)]

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wally

    Excellent memoir of a young woman's journey from disaffected, struggling youth to love, marriage, the end of marriage, and more. The author's path through her family history (especially her mother's line) unites a number of people and helps her to heal herself after much sexual trauma. Always, the spirit of her mother's people comes through and her strength grows through her narrative. Excellent memoir of a young woman's journey from disaffected, struggling youth to love, marriage, the end of marriage, and more. The author's path through her family history (especially her mother's line) unites a number of people and helps her to heal herself after much sexual trauma. Always, the spirit of her mother's people comes through and her strength grows through her narrative.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Sasha Lapointe explores her personal and collective trauma in this short and poetic memoir. Her experiences with her Indigenous family and maternal line gives her strength, but also create barriers as her difficult childhood shows. One of the things I really liked was her exploration of how to navigate her trauma and grief within her romantic relationship. It was trial and error - messy and hurtful at times and comforting and growing during others. I felt like she was honest about her missteps a Sasha Lapointe explores her personal and collective trauma in this short and poetic memoir. Her experiences with her Indigenous family and maternal line gives her strength, but also create barriers as her difficult childhood shows. One of the things I really liked was her exploration of how to navigate her trauma and grief within her romantic relationship. It was trial and error - messy and hurtful at times and comforting and growing during others. I felt like she was honest about her missteps and growing sense of what she needed and wanted from her partner. I also enjoyed the story of her ancestor, Comptia Koholowish who married a white Captain after her entire family was wiped out by smallpox. A novelization of her life is certainly something I definitely would read. Red flag for a certain degree of exploration of sexual abuse trauma. Other than that this would be easy to suggest to a wide range of memoir readers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    B

    Wow. Just, wow. A beautiful, autobiographical allegory on generational AND indigenous generational trauma and what it takes to heal yourself. And for anyone who has had a deep relationship with your grandmother(s) and/or watch them pass through the veil, "Spirit Sickness" is one of THE most moving, tactile things I've read (and heard when Sasha read at a local famous bookstore a few months ago) in like... FOREVER! It sticks with you, and as someone who practices spirituality handed down from Celti Wow. Just, wow. A beautiful, autobiographical allegory on generational AND indigenous generational trauma and what it takes to heal yourself. And for anyone who has had a deep relationship with your grandmother(s) and/or watch them pass through the veil, "Spirit Sickness" is one of THE most moving, tactile things I've read (and heard when Sasha read at a local famous bookstore a few months ago) in like... FOREVER! It sticks with you, and as someone who practices spirituality handed down from Celtic ancestors, I'm just absolutely stunned into humble silence!! Sasha, you're fucking amazing! I just want to hug you, make you pumpkin mac and cheese, and just talk about Twin Peaks and spirituality for HOURS! I mean, not to overstep or anything... In short, can I be your b.f.f.?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    A heartbreaking tale of loss, trauma, pain and family. Well written, really takes you on a journey. There is healing and hope, eventually. But it’s a little rough wading through all the agony to get there.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Wallace

    Sasha LaPointe what a great writer. I loved how contemporary this Indigenous memoir was. Sasha gives a millennial perspective on the Indigenous American experience, but also dives deeper into her own psyche, past, and trauma of sexual abuse. Throughout this raw memoir, LaPointe tells of significant pieces in her life filled with music, travel, and writing, often paired with heartbreak and healing of many varieties and honors LaPointe's ancestral history as well as her own history in the making. Sasha LaPointe what a great writer. I loved how contemporary this Indigenous memoir was. Sasha gives a millennial perspective on the Indigenous American experience, but also dives deeper into her own psyche, past, and trauma of sexual abuse. Throughout this raw memoir, LaPointe tells of significant pieces in her life filled with music, travel, and writing, often paired with heartbreak and healing of many varieties and honors LaPointe's ancestral history as well as her own history in the making. A memoir of looking back to move forward. LaPointe’s Native voice and ancestral history need more prominent space both in the world and our bookshelves. Highly recommend.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Al Doyle

    Wow. Reading this was an informing, enlightening and all around good time. Author Shasha Lapointe crafts her story in such a way that while the tale gets told, the reader is lovingly schooled. Perhaps what I loved the most was the way she embedded herself and the story in the world of Punk Rock. The Punk world established that she and her story were bigger that the indigenous culture that formed the backdrop for the rest of the story. It was brilliant, and it established, off the bat, she was not Wow. Reading this was an informing, enlightening and all around good time. Author Shasha Lapointe crafts her story in such a way that while the tale gets told, the reader is lovingly schooled. Perhaps what I loved the most was the way she embedded herself and the story in the world of Punk Rock. The Punk world established that she and her story were bigger that the indigenous culture that formed the backdrop for the rest of the story. It was brilliant, and it established, off the bat, she was not to be takes as a single dimensional character. She takes us deep into her personal, lived experience and that of the characters she is portraying. The story is crafted to be engaging and an important cultural deep dive, without being preachy or teach-y. Sara tell it like it was and is. Most importantly, she enhances understandings and exposed the reader to the nuances of an often ignored culture and often under appreciated neighbors. The descriptions of her surrounding and depictions of her characters honor both subject and reader.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    I couldn’t put it down and read it in one day. Very beautiful and emotional memoir.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Frederic

    I didn't realize when I started this that the author is the niece of an artist I had met through mutual friends, and great-granddaughter of a highly respected Salish elder and language scholar whom I also knew through mutual friends. Although I never met the author, those connections made her stories resonate even more strongly for me. There is considerable pain in her stories – including abuse, and a miscarriage – but also her strength, and work to sustain cultural strength. The writing is very I didn't realize when I started this that the author is the niece of an artist I had met through mutual friends, and great-granddaughter of a highly respected Salish elder and language scholar whom I also knew through mutual friends. Although I never met the author, those connections made her stories resonate even more strongly for me. There is considerable pain in her stories – including abuse, and a miscarriage – but also her strength, and work to sustain cultural strength. The writing is very strong and engaging, and includes (as the subtitle suggests) community history as well as her own.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Josephine Ensign

    This is such a refreshing and uplifting memoir. I was especially moved when she describes visiting the land of one of her Coast Salish female relatives and how she experiences the touristy/interpretive (white colonial) history aspects of it. I also liked how she highlighted the strengths and healing she has tapped into from her Coast Salish heritage.

  28. 5 out of 5

    lisa

    I find myself tired of reading Native Women Trauma Porn, and this book is not well written enough to completely save it. Unlike Heart Berries by Terese Mailhot or White Magic by Elissa Washuta there this book didn't have a beauty or a hook to it that made me overlook the triggering passages, and the exhaustion of reading yet another book of how Native women are broken while still dealing with the broken-ness of my own existence as a Native woman. I was also amused at the story of Comptia, Sasha I find myself tired of reading Native Women Trauma Porn, and this book is not well written enough to completely save it. Unlike Heart Berries by Terese Mailhot or White Magic by Elissa Washuta there this book didn't have a beauty or a hook to it that made me overlook the triggering passages, and the exhaustion of reading yet another book of how Native women are broken while still dealing with the broken-ness of my own existence as a Native woman. I was also amused at the story of Comptia, Sasha Lapointe's ancestor whose same story appeared in The Sentence by Louise Erdrich. Apparently every Native community has a long suffering female ancestor who married a white man and was forbidden to go into their martial house. That being said, this book is short and quick. I also LOVED the last 40 pages, as Lapointe explores Astoria and other areas of the Pacific Northwest, acknowledging her people, and their lands, and what they refuse to relinquish. I also super appreciate that she has learned to ask permission about sharing her people's sacred traditions. Native women should continue writing, and being published. I just wish we had happier, funnier stories to tell.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Russell Beard

    This is transparent vulnerability; it is a gift. From the prologue, I found myself trying to steal every second I could, just to read more. Thank you, Sasha, this is a beautiful gift.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jess Witkins

    An exquisitely well done memoir; I could not put it down! Given the amount of personal heartache Sasha LaPointe had to overcome in life, her book seamlessly reflects on it as well as how she finds unimaginable strength to heal and look forward. Red Paint is "an ancestral autobiography," putting LaPointe's work up there with names like Kao Kalia Yang, Natasha Trethewey, and Daniel Nayeri for her ability to weave familial stories and their impact on our own lived experience. Her chosen structure m An exquisitely well done memoir; I could not put it down! Given the amount of personal heartache Sasha LaPointe had to overcome in life, her book seamlessly reflects on it as well as how she finds unimaginable strength to heal and look forward. Red Paint is "an ancestral autobiography," putting LaPointe's work up there with names like Kao Kalia Yang, Natasha Trethewey, and Daniel Nayeri for her ability to weave familial stories and their impact on our own lived experience. Her chosen structure makes the book traditional memoir at times, researched history and oral storytelling at others, and poetry too. It was engaging, devastating, and well-paced. The book blends identities that are cultural, familial, matriarchal, and experimental as she seeks to understand more about her Coast Salish ancestors and also rebel against negative realities of modern day reservation life, socio-economic status, and addiction by escaping into the punk scene during her youth. At its core, Red Paint is a love story, but not in a traditional setting. For each of us must learn to love ourselves just as radically as we seek to find love in others. A truly gifted work. I can't wait to see what other hybrid forms and stories LaPointe creates. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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