Carry A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land is a history book by author Toni Jensen.
A powerful, poetic memoir about what it means to exist as a Native American woman, recounted with snapshots of the author’s encounters with gun violence.
Toni Jensen grew up with guns: As a girl, she learned to shoot birds in rural Iowa with her father, a card-carrying member of the NRA. As an adult, she swung a gun to her face near Standing Rock and felt their silent threat on the hidden campus where she taught. And she always knows that in this she is not alone. As a Métis woman, she is no stranger to violence perpetrated on Indigenous women’s bodies, on Indigenous soil, and the ways it is hidden, ignored, and forgotten.
In Carry, Jensen maps her personal experience to history, exploring how history exists in the body and redefining the language we use to talk about violence in America. In the title chapter, Jensen connects the trauma of a school shooting with her own experience of racism and sexual assault on a college campus. “The Worry Line” explores gun and gang violence in her neighborhood the year her daughter was born. “At the Workshop” focuses on her graduate years, in which a workshop classmate repeatedly kills off thinly veiled versions of her in his stories. In “Women in the Fracklands,” Jensen takes listeners inside Standing Rock during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and testifies to the danger women in regions face by explosive outbreaks.
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