#NotYourPrincess

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 20 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

How appropriate is it for me to read this book on Thanksgiving? 

This includes writing, poetry, art from dozens of indigenous women. It’s really a beautiful book. 

But it is hard as it is beautiful. 

It’s about the erasure of indigenous peoples. By colonialization. By genocide. By cultural appropriation. By conflagration with pop culture. 

It’s about the difficulty of being an indigenous woman in this culture. 

Something I will never understand. 

I haven’t seen a definition of Patriarchy as simple as this: 

Patriarchy is quite simply the systematic oppression and regulation of women’s bodies, minds, and spirits. Patriarchy sets the markers and outlines the box of what we can and cannot do; say or cannot say; think or cannot think; express or cannot express. 

And how was this used against Indigenous women? 

Western patriarchy very methodically and strategically sought to oppress Indigenous women and girls and diminish their spaces and places, seeing them as disposable, as “less-than”. 

I hope things are changing. I hope that as diversity increases we right the wrongs of the past. Well, some wrongs were so atrocious, they can’t be righted. But we can make the attempt. 

I hope this is prophetic: 

We must and will have women leaders among us. Native women are going to raise the roof and decry the dirty house which patriarchy and racism have built on our backs.
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Creative and thought-provoking. Powerful read and long overdue. .
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#NotYourPrincess is another fabulous collection brought to us by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale. The magic of the book is that the many voices are seen and heard through a wide variety of formats with the design of the book framing the pieces beautifully. In most cases artwork compliments the texts and the words provide context for the artwork. There are images on nearly every spread and it’s a magnificent visual experience.

The stories shared both visually and in text reveal what it means to these women to be Native. They share challenges, triumphs, losses, hopes, family ties and so much more. These are stories that acknowledge the pain of the past, but also point to strength, resilience, and hope for the future. In the essay “Reclaiming Indigenous Women’s Rights,” Nahanni Fontaine (Anishinaabe) explains it this way, “When we begin to understand the colonial legacy and its collateral damage to the minds and bodies of Indigenous women, we can begin to forgive, accept, and heal ourselves from the countless hurtful, damaging ways in which this trauma manifests itself.”

These stories do not ignore the past, but they are very much stories of the present and the future. The many voices sound out against the stereotypes that often prevent people from seeing and recognizing Native women. The women ask to be seen as they are – not as they are expected to be. This is especially obvious in “A Conversation with a Massage Thereapist” by Francine Cunningham (Cree/Métis). The questions the massage therapist asks reveal much about biases people can have. The therapist asks, “What are you?” Indigenous and Cree are answers, but they are pretty much discounted as the therapist responds with, “You don’t really look it.” After learning that the person was raised in the city, “Oh, well, I guess you’re not a real one then?” It doesn’t take long to realize this person has completely succumbed to stereotypes. In “The Invisible Indians,” white-faced, red-haired Shelby LIsk (Mohawk) writes about a similar point of view. “They want fantastical stories of the Indians that used to roam this land. They want my culture behind glass in a museum. But they don’t want me. I’m not Indian enough.”

There are also many examples of confident young women who are using their strengths. We see young women like AnnaLee Rain Yellowhammer (Hunkapapa, Standing Rock Sioux) who are demanding to be heard. She’s an activist fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline and has been raising her voice loud and clear in defense of the land, water, and her tribe.

Lisa Charleyboy describes this as a “love letter to all young Indigenous women trying to find their way.” This is an excellent description. Readers will find love and encouragement here on every page.

Recomendation: #NotYourPrincess should be available in all young adult collections. Get it as soon as it’s available.
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#NotYourPrincess is a beautiful collection of stories, poems, and artwork that honor and celebrate Indigenous women and their legacy. This collection tackles a lot of issues that indigenous women face- the shame that is forced on these women, the disrespect and dismissal of their history, and the legacy of pain inherited through generations. But we also see these women unburdening themselves - we see them reclaiming their rich history and begin the process of healing and renewing their sense of self. They challenge western beauty standards and the harmful Indian Maiden controlling images that erases their existence in the present, limiting their sociopolitical and economic power. Some of my favorite pieces in the collection were “Reclaiming Indigenous Women’s Rights” by Nahanni Fontaine, Resilient by Sierra Edd, Tagé Cho by Lianne Marie Charlie, “Leaks” by Leanne Simpson, and “We are Not a Costume” by Jessica Deer.

I received a copy of the books from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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With #ownvoices and #weneeddiversebooks rising as major trends in the literary community, I’m starting to fill in the gaps. But I’ve been lax in reading enough about Native Americans and Indigenous Americans by Native Americans and Indigenous Americans.

#NotYourPrincess is a fantastic collection of poetry, prose, and artwork written by and about Native American women and reclaims the conversation. It presents a perspective that many of us know embarrassingly little about. I loved that this book did not focus solely on the U.S. but instead embracing the many tribes and communities residing in Canada too.

My one critique of this book is that I would have preferred a longer volume with additional articles and critical thought pieces from writers and authors. But that being said, if you’re looking to expand beyond Louise Erdrich and Sherman Alexie, this is a great place to start. I’d recommend picking this one up in print since the artwork is really beautiful.
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OK, hear me out. The e-arc has some issues – sentences, running into one another, non-clear formatting and complete mix-up of art and poems at times.

BUT, formatting problems on the side, the book could be really eye opening to those of us who are willing to know more about the personal stories of the ingenious people(and women in particular) and the impact of the forced upon them “whiteness”. Let’s be real, only the survivors get to tell their story and for way too many years we’ve heard only the side of the oppressor.
It is time to not only allow but to preach the stories of the oppressed, of the survivors of this genocide and this culture erasure.

I am not here to tell you you have to read this book. You don’t have to if you do not want to and you can keep living your oblivious life without the knowledge of all the people who were forcefully fitted in the expectations of the white men, not being able to even learn their own language and traditions. But if one is willing to learn more and to hear stories they might not like but are true non the less, that’s a good place to start.

The artwork in #NotYourPrincess is as powerful as the essays, the poetry and the poems.
I’d love to have a printed copy(hoping it’ll be better formatted) and just open it sometimes and stare at the artworks. Some of them are just stunning.

There’s not a lot we can do but the least we can is to tell those women they are not alone. They are not invisible.
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I received an ARC from Netgally in exchange for an honest review.

This book is full of poetry, comics, essays, and stories written by Native American women, or if you prefer the more PC term Indigenous women of North America.  I never was a fan of poetry so I was already going in with low expectations.  That being said, this book was better that I thought it was going to be.  It is not outstanding but it is not terrible either.  There is a lot of knowledge filled on every page, and if anything you will come out with a better understanding of what these women went through.  I give a solid 2/5 it was ok but I would not read it again nor recommend it.
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I love how stunning this book is and how everything draws your attention and captures it to the end, the writings are superb and the stories they each tell even more outstanding. This book is a wonderful book that gives a platform and voice for the Native women.
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With stories, poetry, and art, Indigenous women give voice to their anger and resilience in the face of prejudice and stereotypes. Highly recommended.
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This is a beautifully written book of poetry, essays and interviews contributed by Indigenous women and girls. 

Akin to #BlackGirlMagic, the women and girls in #Notyourprincess have decided that they no longer want to be portrayed as the stereotypical women. These women and girls are doctors, lawyers, inventor and protesters. They are strong, resilient and beautiful. But mostly they are survivors of genocide and abuse. The stories in this book give you a look into their world. The artwork added to assist in the telling of their stories was a wonderful bonus. 

Although I'm not a Indigenous woman, I felt a strong connection to every woman in the book. The author and the women in #Notyourprincess want to you know that they will no longer be silent (that they never really were), that they are not your Tiger Lily, that they will not deal with discrimination...they just won't deal with nonsense and I'm excited for them. 

Highly recommended. 

thank you to the author/publisher for the opportunity to review.
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Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous women across North America resound in this book. In the same style as the best-selling Dreaming in Indian, #NotYourPrincess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, humiliation, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women making themselves heard and demanding change. Sometimes angry, often reflective, but always strong, the women in this book will give teen readers insight into the lives of women who, for so long, have been virtually invisible. (via Goodreads)
I received an eARC of #NotYourPrincess from Netgalley, courtesy of Annick Press, in exchange for an honest review.

This book is a hard read. I'm adding trigger warnings for mentions of rape, sexual assault, ethnic cleansing, erasure, alcoholism, and more that I'm sure I'm missing. This is a hard book to read, but it was so worth it, in my opinion.

This anthology of poems, art and short stories are made by, about and for Native American women. Since I am not one, there is not a lot that I can discuss, content-wise in this collection. It would be way outside my lane. I will say that you may need to read this over a period of time, because as you can tell by my trigger warnings, it's heavy. However, it was beautiful.

I loved all of the art in this anthology. I loved how this anthology was laid out. I loved the graphic design. I loved the balance between art and written inclusions.

Honestly, there was nothing about this I didn't like! You can pick up a copy on Amazon or Indiebound and support these awesome women.



Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of it.
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A collection of art work and writing from Indigenous women, #Notyourprincess offers a look into the experiences of these women from different tribes: their hardships, their communities, their people.

I liked the portraits that were included in this book. There is a variety of skill and every one had heart from the person behind the pen or the brush. 

The essays that were clear were evocative of the hardships the writer has been through and the strength they've found to continue on in their days. They also gave me, a white person, a better perspective on their circumstances. There's a difference between being told something in a majority white school about what happens to Indigenous people and hearing the stories from the people that went through them, whose ancestors did.

There were poems throughout the book, but the formatting made it difficult to understand them. Lines were off-kilter, credit to the authors and titles were illegible, and even some of the essays had sentences that seemed to be spliced in from other works. It's this reason that I rated #Notyourprincess 3 stars when, if it were formatted properly, it might have garnered a higher rating. Not being able to decipher the words properly really brought down the experience. 

I think this is going to be an important work, once published in its final format with the errors cleared up. The stories will be more clear and when a wider audience reads them, they will be shared by the people that experience them, today and yesterday, and by those that need to understand what it still happening to Indigenous people. Pick this up, if you can, and hear the words from the mouths and pens of the people that wrote them.
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First thing is first, this book will be released today September 12th, 2017 and you should buy it and then read it immediately...don't add it to your growing TBR! READ IT NOW! So I usually summarize the synopsis in my own words, because sometimes I don't like the actual summary and other times it is just too wordy for my liking because I like more concise explanations. This time, I decided to just stick with what was written because I will be putting absolutely no words of my own in this book of thoughts. This sounds like an insult to other authors but it isn't, I just have no words that I prefer to the ones written in the synopsis.

I read this book twice over and have goosebumps still! It has been a while since I have read a collection of short stories, essay, and poems that deeply moved me or made me think so I am beyond happy I got to read this. Okay wait, my previous statement may have been false because I don't ever recall being moved by a collection of stories before. That isn't the point! Any way, I loved the entire layout of this book. Each poem just made me feel like I was home. I am not a Native American or American NDN, I am just a regular African girl from around the way but I could empathize with everything that was said. I adored the connection to family, culture, and other women presented in each piece in this book. You guys have to understand, it is rare for me to gush about a book and have no complaints. I am the girl who loves harry Potter and can name at least 5 flaws in each book, so for me to look at this book and read it twice in one day and still be raving about it... 
I was unsure if I could use pictures from the book, as I read it as an ARC and am unsure if I am allowed to take pictures from a book that has yet to be released. But don't let that deter you from picking up this book. There are some amazing prints, photographs, and works of art in this book. I have started a new habit where I bookmark pages that I find fascinating and I bookmarked every single page. I guess subconsciously I was waiting for the one thing to pop out at me. Usually, there is at least one bad thing in a book for me; whether misspelled word or just something that makes me unable to continue to seriously focus on the characters but that was not the case in this one. I often times found myself reminiscing on my childhood days when I would read Amelia's Notebook shorts in my American Girl magazine. I was hooked to this book like it was an N'SYNC concert. I just hung on to every word, every phrase,and every picture. I can honestly and dramatically say I spent my entire time reading the book like this . I realize that I have spent this entire post just going on and on about how great this book was, and if you read it, I hope you will better understand my featured photo, but I honestly have nothing bad to say about this book. It is a raw look into the truth of what it is to be an indigenous woman in a world that forgot you are not a cartoon character, nor are you the oversexualized woman depicted in film. I feel like this book should be something everyone reads! Hell, make it required reading! This book was given to me by Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion...my honest opinion is stop reading my review and read the dang book (like and comment first though, thanks)!
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Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book is a compilation of short stories, poems, quotes, artworks and photographs by Native American Women. While there aren't a lot of stories in this book (this book is actually quite short and if all the empty pages were taken out I don't think there would be more than 80 pages or even less. At times I understood why there had to be an empty page, some of the artwork seems like it was designed to be spread across two pages, but this only works for a physical book, not really for the e-book I read.) those that are in there are really emotional and amazing. 

In this book Native American Women are given a voice. They are allowed to talk about their intergenerational trauma, about their present day pain under white supremacy, racism, and the patriarchy, about their hopes and dreams. As I follow a few Native American Activists on twitter, I already knew of some of the present-day problems that hurt Native Americans, but with this book, the struggles got an even more personal side.

Trigger warnings for abuse (sexual, emotional, physical), rape, alcoholism, forced sterilization, suicide, domestic violence, depression, genocide, colonization, kidnapping and racism

This book is really heartbreaking, even though it is so short. The writing is really well done and I also enjoyed the artwork a lot. My favorite stories were:

Reclaiming Indigenous Women's Rights by Nahanni Fontaine, an essay about what it means to be an Indigenous Women. The artwork with this short essay is gorgeous and it gave insight into how intergenerational trauma affects Native American Women.
A Tale of Two Winonas by Winona Linn, a comic about forced marriage and suicide, delving into what names might mean.
Honor Song by Gwen Benaway, a poem that feels a lot like a prayer, exploring what it means to be a woman and how to reclaim that.
Real NDNZ by Pamela J. Peters, a photo series where Native American actors recreate classic portraits of movie stars. This showcases how few Native American actors one sees in Media and how there's even less that are portrayed in a positive light.
I also really loved the quotes by Native American Women in this book. They are very raw and real, mention problems of Native American Women, but also give hope.

I don't want to punish the authors with a bad rating, just because the format was off. I also had an ARC, so maybe that was partly at fault. I have high hopes that this story will be better when in physical form. However, I hope there will also quite a lot of editing done on the e-book as well so it will be readable if there even is an e-book available. 

All in all, I think this was an amazing book and I can certainly only recommend it to everyone, who wants to read about Native American Women and hear their stories in their own words.
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#notyourprincess is an #ownvoices book by indigenous women for indigenous women. Filled with poems, short essays and artwork, I found it a very good beginning of a conversation about the particular trials that indigenous women face. For example, my favourite poem was 'The Things We Taught Our Daughters' which talked about generations of toxicity and abuse. The artwork was also of a consistently high calibre. I wish I knew more about art so I could talk about it properly, but unfortunately I don't. 

However, I say that this is the beginning of a conversation for a reason. I was quite disappointed that there weren't any essays that really went in-depth into any of the topics discussed. None of the essays went beyond a couple of paragraphs, if I remember correctly. I also found that this would have been a better ARC if it had been printed rather than an ebook. I think that the photos and artwork would have just looked better on a printed page. 

I just feel a bit disappointed by this anthology. It has the kernels of a really fantastic book, but unfortunately it just isn't there for me.
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There is much to like about this book of collective poems, short stories, drawings, and prose in 104 pages. The editors: Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale wrote that the book is a love letter to young Indigenous women trying to find their way, but "also to help dispel those stereotypes so we can collectively move towards a brighter future for all." The themes are universal for women. 
There are many poetic and emotional passages. My favorites were Blankets of Shame, Dear Past Self and I am Hiding. Many of the illustrations are beautiful, as is the cover. 
The young woman, AnnaLee Rain Yellowhammer is 13 y.o and began the largest Native American protest in a century. She started the petition to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. There are several stories and poems that will give non-Indigenous people a realistic view of life for Native women. 
I recommend this collection.
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I really liked #notyourprincess, I want to read this book because my mom is always looking for aboriginal stories and books for her library and I would recommend this book for her if it was a bit age appropriate for her Elementary level library but for my high school library this would be a great book. I really enjoyed the boom and would love to read more stories like this.
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“We aren’t historic figures; we are modern women.”

** Trigger warning for allusions to violence against women, suicidal ideation, genocide, and racism and sexism. **

It’s strange to me how people always want me to be an “authentic Indian.” When I say I’m Haudenosaunee, they want me to look a certain way. Act a certain way. They’re disappointed when what they get is . . . just me. White-faced, red-haired. They spent hundreds of years trying to assimilate my ancestors, trying to create Indians who could blend in like me. But now they don’t want me either. I’m not Indian enough. They can’t make up their minds. They want buckskin and war paint, drumming, songs in languages they can’t understand recorded for them, but with English subtitles of course. They want educated, well-spoken, but not too smart. Christian, well-behaved, never questioning. They want to learn the history of the people, but not the ones who are here now, waving signs in their faces, asking them for clean drinking water, asking them why their women are going missing, asking them why their land is being ruined. They want fantastical stories of the Indians that used to roam this land. They want my culture behind glass in a museum. But they don’t want me. I’m not Indian enough.

(“The Invisible Indians,” Shelby Lisk)

###

Because history moves like a fevered heat down through the arteries of generations
Because PTSD to the family tree is like an ax Because colonization is the ghosts of buffalos with broken backs
Because today only burning flags could be found at the ghost dance of my people

(“Stereotype This,” Melanie Fey)

###

I feel like I should begin this review with a word of caution: If you see any complaints about formatting problems ahead of the pub date, disregard them. The Kindle version of this ARC is indeed a hot mess, but this is par for the course when it comes to books with a heavy graphic element. The acsm file, read on Adobe Digital Editions (which I loathe, but happily suffered for this book!), gives a much clearer picture of what the finished, physical copy is meant to look like. And, if Amazon’s listing is any indication, #NOTYOURPRINCESS: VOICES OF NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN will only be released in print. 

That said, #NOTYOURPRINCESS is fierce, vibrant, and nicely organized. It feels a lot like an experimental art project, and I mean that in the best way possible. Within these here pages you’ll find an eclectic mix of personal essays, poems, quotes, photographs, line art, watercolors, comics, portraits of activists and athletes, and interviews with Native women. #LittleSalmonWoman (Lianne Charlie) even adopts the format of an Instagram page, while “More Than Meets the Eye” (Kelly Edzerza-Babty and Claire Anderson) profiles ReMatriate, which shares images of modern Native women on social media in order to reclaim their identities and broaden our ideas of what a “real” Native American woman looks like. (The quote in my review’s title comes from Claire Anderson, a founding member of ReMatriate.)

The topics touched upon run the gamut: genocide, colonization, forced assimilation, cultural appropriation, kidnapping, rape, domestic violence, mass incarceration, mental illness, sexuality, addiction, street harassment, homelessness, and intergenerational trauma.

As with most anthologies, #NOTYOURPRINCESS is a bit of a mixed bag; although, as a white woman, I’m 110% positive that Indigenous readers will get more out of it than I did. Much to my surprise – since I don’t always “get” poetry – some of the poems are among my favorites. Helen Knott’s “The Things We Taught Our Daughters” is a searing and heartbreaking indictment of interpersonal violence, rape culture, and the patriarchy, while Melanie Fey tackles intergenerational trauma and contemporary bigotry with equal passion and anguish in “Stereotype This.” (Both of these are examples of the book’s eye-catching design, fwiw.) 

I also enjoyed the pieces that mixed visual and written media; e.g, “My Grandmother Sophia” by Saige Mukash and “It Could Have Been Me” by Patty Stonefish. Shelby Lisk’s “The Invisible Indians,” quoted at the top of this review, is a powerful rebuttal to Western notions of what a “real” Indian looks like (and brings to mind the 2016 book, ‘ALL THE READ INDIANS DIED OFF’: AND 20 OTHER MYTHS ABOUT NATIVE AMERICANS, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz & Dina Gilio-Whitaker). 

My absolute favorite piece is the lone comic in the collection, “A Tale of Two Winonas” by Winona Linn. An f-you to the doomed lovers trope, Linn addresses such heady topics as suicide, rape, forced marriage, colonialism, and racism and misogyny with humor and wit – and all in a mere two pages. I was thrilled to see in the “Contributors” section that Linn is currently in Paris, working on a graphic novel. 

Finally, I’d be remiss if I did not mention “Real NDNZ,” Pamela J. Peters’s profile of the Real NDNZ Re-Take Hollywood project. This photo series takes scenes from classic American films and replaces them with images of Native actors – thus highlighting and reimagining the racist stereotyping of classic cinema, while also combating the invisibility of Native actors in modern film. #NOTYOURPRINCESS includes some rather stunning portraits of Shayna Jackson as Audrey Hepburn and Deja Jones as Ava Gardner.

** Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley. **
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(I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

In this collection of art, poems, and short stories, Native American women share their experiences. Part of the mission is reclamation of vibrant cultural voices and customs, and part of this is an in-your-face calling out of brutal stereotypes. Lastly, there's a must-be-heard message about violence against women and girls. 

This is a book that I will buy in print for my high school classroom library AND for my personal library. These stories tore me wide open, and I hope they do the same for my students. That's all I really want to say about this, here. Read it, buy it, share it.
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