A History of my Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt

Billy-Ray Belcourt has been on my radar for a while. He is an incredible Canadian poet who has won many awards for his poetry and writing. When I found out he had a memoir coming out, I was so excited and grateful to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for an advanced e-copy.

Let's start with the cover. I love the title of this memoir and the beautiful cover art is a collage by Niagara artist by Maggie Groat.

This memoir is very poetic. There were so many lines that I could have highlighted for the use of language, the unique phrasing, and for the poignant messages. Many times I stopped to marvel at how something was described or a thought was articulated.

The memoir starts with a beautiful letter to the author’s Kokum (grandmother) and it’s obvious that he has a special relationship with her. Then Belcourt shares experiences with us, the readers, as he grapples with how he fits in - mentally, emotionally, and physically - in the world as an indigenous, queer man. He is not shy about topics such as how indigenous people are mistreated, the increase in suicides, homophobia, and systemic racism. All hot topics here in Canada and in our world right now.

A heads up that there are a couple of explicit sex scenes, so be aware of that, if you are going to read this.

I think that Belcourt is an important voice. I look forward to reading his poetry and I hope more novels and writing from him as well.

Bookworm Rating: 🐛🐛🐛🐛

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