Beth Piatote with Sharma Shields - The Beadworkers (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, December 7, 2019 - 4:15pm

In conversation with Sharma Shields

Told with humor, subtlety, and beautiful spareness, the mixed-genre works of Beth Piatote's first collection find unifying themes in the strength of kinship, the pulse of longing, and the language of return.

A woman teaches her niece to make a pair of beaded earrings while ruminating on a fractured relationship. An eleven-year-old girl narrates the unfolding of the Fish Wars in the 1960s as her family is gradually drawn to the front lines of the conflict. In 1890, as tensions escalate at Wounded Knee, two young men at college—one French and the other Lakota—each contemplate a death in the family. In the final, haunting piece, a Nez Perce/Cayuse family is torn apart as they debate the fate of ancestral remains in a moving revision of the Greek tragedy Antigone.

Formally inventive, witty, and generous, The Beadworkers—a singular debut collection—draws on Indigenous aesthetics and forms to offer a powerful, sustaining vision of Native life in the Americas.

Beth Piatote is an associate professor of Native American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She holds a PhD from Stanford University, is the author of numerous scholarly essays and creative works, and is the recipient of multiple awards and fellowships. She is Nez Perce enrolled with Colville Confederated Tribes, and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her two children.

Sharma Shields holds an MFA from the University of Montana. She is the author of the short story collection Favorite Monster, winner of the 2011 Autumn House Fiction Prize, and the novel The Sasquatch Hunters’ Almanac, winner of the Washington State Book Award. Her work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Iowa Review, Electric Literature, and more. Shields has worked in independent bookstores and public libraries throughout Washington State. She lives in Spokane with her husband and children.

Location: 
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925
The Beadworkers: Stories Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9781640092686
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - October 22nd, 2019

Beth Piatote's luminous debut collection opens with a feast, grounding its stories in the landscapes and lifeworlds of the Native Northwest, exploring the inventive and unforgettable pattern of Native American life in the contemporary world