“Michelle Porter’s Scratching River is both a reckoning and an elegy; a scathing, powerful roar against social injustice, the scars of trauma, climate crisis, environmental damage and, at the very same time, a love song to the power of family, Métis history, rivers, Bison, burdock, and the Métis storyteller and musician, Louis Goulet, who is her great-great-grandfather’s brother. Porter artfully braids together a portrait of her brother, Brendon Porter, who was horrifically brutalized in an institution for mentally disabled adults, with a rich understanding of the lives and habits of rivers, grassland, bison, and the threatened ecosystems of the prairies — to profound effect. Here also are wisdom and tenderness, stories full of dancing, hunting, traveling by ox-drawn cart, or Greyhound bus, and sleeping under the stars. Porter roves gracefully through the past, present, and future and proves herself a consummate writer for our times. Scratching River is a rare gift.” –Lisa Moore, author of This Is How We Love
Scratching River braids the voices of mother, brother, sister, ancestor, and river to create a story about environmental, personal, and collective healing.
This memoir revolves around a search for home for the author’s older brother, who is both autistic and schizophrenic, and an unexpected emotional journey that led to acceptance, understanding and, ultimately, reconciliation. Michelle Porter brings together the oral history of a Métis ancestor, studies of river morphology, and news clippings about abuse her older brother endured at a rural Alberta group home to tell a tale about love, survival, and hope. This book is a voice in your ear, urging you to explore your own braided histories and relationships.
We’re giving away 5 copies of the book, courtesy of WLU Press.
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