Why is there no Native woman David Sedaris? Or Native Anne Lamott? Humor categories in publishing are packed with books by funny women and humorous sociocultural-political commentary–but no Native women. There are presumably more important concerns in Indian Country. More important than humor? Among the Diné/Navajo, a ceremony is held in honor of a baby’s first laugh. While the context is different, it nonetheless reminds us that laughter is precious, even sacred.
Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s is a powerful and compelling collection of Tiffany Midge’s musings on life, politics, and identity as a Native woman in America. Artfully blending sly humor, social commentary, and meditations on love and loss, Midge weaves short, stand-alone musings into a memoir that stares down colonialism while chastising hipsters for abusing pumpkin spice. She explains why she does not like pussy hats, mercilessly dismantles pretendians, and confesses her own struggles with white-bread privilege.
Midge goes on to ponder Standing Rock, feminism, and a tweeting president, all while exploring her own complex identity and the loss of her mother. Employing humor as an act of resistance, these slices of life and matchless takes on urban-Indigenous identity disrupt the colonial narrative and provide commentary on popular culture, media, feminism, and the complications of identity, race, and politics.
Tiffany Midge is a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and was raised in the Pacific Northwest. She is a former columnist for Indian Country Today and taught writing and composition for Northwest Indian College. Her award-winning books are The Woman Who Married a Bear and Outlaws, Renegades, and Saints: Diary of a Mixed-Up Halfbreed. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, Transmotion, the Offing, Waxwing, Moss, Okey-Pankey, Lit Hub, and World Literature Today. Midge resides in Moscow, Idaho, where she has served as the city’s poet laureate. She aspires to be the distinguished writer in residence at Seattle’s Space Needle. Geary Hobson is emeritus professor of English at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of numerous books, including The Last of the Ofos.