Bones of Belonging
Finding Wholeness in a White World
by Annahid Dashtgard
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Pub Date 16 May 2023 | Archive Date 31 Mar 2023
I take a deep breath, check my lipstick one last time on my phone camera, and turn on my mic. It’s about ten steps, two metres, and one lifetime to the front of the room. “Hello,” I repeat. “My name is Annahid — pronounced Ah-nah-heed — and shit’s about to get real!”
In a series of deft interlocking stories Annahid Dashtgard shares her experiences searching for, and teaching about, belonging in our deeply divided world. A critically acclaimed, racialized immigrant writer and recognized inclusion leader, Dashtgard writes with wisdom, honesty, and a wry humour as she considers what it means to belong — to a country, in a marriage, in our own skin — and what it means when belonging is absent. Like the bones of the human body, these stories knit together a remarkable vision of what wholeness looks like as a racial outsider in a culture still dominated by whiteness.
"We need more women of colour to speak bravely about how to take our power back. This book of stories is a roadmap for everything from healing our bodies to using our voices in the boardroom. It will inspire all who read it to move into action." —DEEPA PURUSHOTHAMAN, author of The First, the Few, the Only
"In Bones of Belonging, Annahid translates racism into easily digestible and relatable bites- which as a First Nations person I more than identified with. These inspiring, humorous and moving stories are essential reading for anyone wanting to invest in a more inclusive planet." —CLAYTON THOMAS-MÜLLER, author of award-winning memoir Life in the City of Dirty Water
"These stories are an essential roadmap toward our human interdependence and how we ultimately belong to each other. Through her wonderful writing, Annahid is making the difference we need in the world." —LORETTA J. ROSS, Feminist and Author of Calling in the Calling Out Culture
"Annahid is a stunning writer, daring to speak truths that are often hidden or marginalized, and in the process opening people’s hearts and minds." —JUDY REBICK, journalist and author
"In these vulnerable essays, Annahid Dashtgard gets real about her experiences of exile, teaching equity, parenting and relationships as a mixed-race woman in a context of white supremacy. I related to so many of the stories, nodding along, marking up pages and finding relief in her magic of meaning-making. This is a true gift to the world, a moving meditation on how we can create belonging within ourselves and our communities." —FARZANA DOCTOR, author and psychotherapist
"In her new book, Bones of Belonging: Finding Wholeness in a White World, Dashtgard uses the power of story to address issues of equity, inclusion and belonging. Her essays convey personal glimpses, expressed with eloquence and humour, into her unique perspective of facing a world that needs to evolve from its current state of divisiveness and entrenched racism into a more open-minded and equitable place. Annahid’s personal, passionate, and intelligent exploration of the world that she has had to navigate provides a road map that helps us all to increase our awareness and commit to doing our part in order to make our respective communities a better place to live and work." —MARK SHAPIRO, President and CEO Toronto Blue Jays