An Indigenous author from Canada uses Abinhinaabeg storytelling practices to reveal an interconnected world—one which Western culture fails to recognize—through the figure of Mashkawaji (they/them), who lies frozen in the ice. They introduce the novel's seven characters, including not only humans but wildlife, each of which is part of Mashkawaii's being.
We can approach Noopiming as much for its language as its story. Language is thrilling in all of Simpson’s work, and nowhere more so than in this newest offering. Structured and old-fashioned language flows into syntax that is more playful and modern ... This radical use of Anishinaabe aesthetics in English asks the reader to reframe how they view the world and how language structures relationships. It asks us to think of relationships as multiple and intersecting rather than binary and individual. While all of this may sound heavy, there is ample humour in this novel ... Through the various characters, the reader is given all of life, not simply the weight of trauma or any one way of seeing the world. The reader becomes a part of the web that interconnects the seven characters and Mashkawaji ... This novel will be reread for its many truths and teachings and for its undeniable power. The complicated questions Noopiming poses are worth revisiting and the novel’s wisdom will continue to grow as the reader does.
Western thought often devolves into discussions of the individual and community, and whose needs must be privileged. But community in Noopiming expands beyond a collection of humans to take in beings not often given sentience in Western imaginings. And individual conceptions of time are supplanted by a fluxion where past and present lose their fixed boundaries ... Simpson's skill as creator allows those outside Indigenous traditions to apprehend a complexity of meaning-making whose fluidity challenges Western reliance on notions of fixed boundaries and discrete categories of being and nonbeing.
... a bold, affecting portrait of an urban landscape and its network of living beings ... beautiful, brief episodes culminate in a celebration nearly toppled by the interference of raccoons. The tenderness and sly wit of these snippets coalesce into a beautiful image of Native resilience and a piercing, original novel.