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A Mind Spread Out on the Ground

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground

Alicia Elliott
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The Mohawk phrase for depression can be roughly translated to a mind spread out on the ground.

In this urgent and visceral work, Alicia Elliott explores how apt a description that is for the ongoing effects of personal, intergenerational, and colonial traumas she and so many Native people have experienced.

Elliott's deeply personal writing details a life spent between Indigenous and white communities, a divide reflected in her own family, and engages with such wide-ranging topics as race, parenthood, love, art, mental illness, poverty, sexual assault, gentrification, and representation. Throughout, she makes thrilling connections both large and small between the past and present, the personal and political. 

A national bestseller in Canada, this updated and expanded American edition helps us better understand legacy, oppression, and racism throughout North America, and offers us a profound new way to decolonize our minds.


Alicia Elliott's writing has been published in The Washington PostThe Globe and MailVice, and The Best American Short Stories 2018, among others. She has been shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction. Born in Buffalo, NY and raised between there and Ohio, she now lives in Brantford, Ontario with her husband and child.


  • Publisher: ‎Melville House (August 4, 2020)
  • Language: ‎English
  • Paperback: ‎256 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎161219866X
  • ISBN-13: ‎9781612198668
  • Item Weight: ‎9.8 ounces
  • Dimensions: ‎5.45 x 0.76 x 8.15 inches
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