Living on the Borderlines

Living on the Borderlines by Melissa Michal

For the loosely connected Seneca community members living in Upstate New York, intergenerational memory slips into everyday life: a teenager struggles to understand her grandmother’s silences, a family seeks to reconnect with a lost sibling, and a young woman searches for a cave that’s called to her family for generations. With these stories, debut writer Melissa Michal weaves together an understated and contemplative collection exploring what it means to be Native.

Author: Melissa Michal | Publisher: Feminist Press

Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4/5

Thank you so much to the Feminist Press for sending me an advanced copy of this collection of stories.

I was very excited to read Living on the Borderlines because I grew up in upstate New York, not far from where many of these stories take place. I know a lot of the small towns, highways, and landmarks referenced. That always makes for a fun reading experience.

But beyond that, I loved the stories themselves. I especially appreciated how so many common themes wound through each of them: cultural and personal change, turning inward in the face of strife, a strong sense of identity. It tied all the stories together and made them a true set, and it reinforced the feeling of authenticity that came through on every page.

Melissa Michal writes in a way that is simultaneously straightforward and lyrical; light and impactful. A beautiful debut.

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