A celebrated young Canadian poet and scholar from the Driftpile First Nation offers a meditation on memory, gender, anger, shame, and ecstasy, exploring his own experiences of marginalization and making a case for joy as an act of resistance.
Belcourt’s voice and perspective are fully-formed and unflinching throughout this series of twelve essays. Belcourt holds nothing back as he weaves his way through these pieces, sharing experiences of coming-of-age, queerness, and as a member of the Driftpile Cree Nation ... Deeply personal and raw, Belcourt flays himself wide open in a way that is simultaneously delicate and jarring ... his writing overflows with insight and conviction. There is an alluring complexity to the language and style of his writing, as well as the subject matter, which will leave the reader looking forward to more from Belcourt’s hand in the future.
Belcourt breaks form to gesture toward a queer indigenous utopia ... A History of My Brief Body resists distillation, embracing instead the contradictions of triumphing over oppression by honoring joy and desire ... at heart, a rallying cry for freedom ... Belcourt to draw nearer to his subject through poetry, theory and essays in which “a third you exists—the ‘lyric you’: he who observes, keeps watch, analyzes from afar, takes in data, then writes from a distance.' That expanse narrows and widens in these essays, in which the register rises and falls like a conversation that takes all night.
... this is prose written by a poet, and it shows. Each sentence is calculated; each word explodes. But back to the age thing: it shows. There is an immediacy to the book, and a hope—like utopia is possible, and I want to see it ... a poetic smorgasbord, full of love and joy, so that if one aspect doesn’t resonate with you, another will.