Writing Ritual: Barbara Robidoux

Blue Hand Books is the publisher!

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sweetgrass Burning

SweetgrassFINAL_ecoverSweetgrass Burning first release by Blue Hand Books in 2016, Kindle version release in 2017

Greenfield, Massachusetts [2016/7]  — Blue Hand Books Collective, a small Native American-owned publishing company based in New England, has announced its first title of 2016 is Sweetgrass Burning: Stories from The Rez. It’s now available on Amazon.com HERE

This debut narrative fiction by Barbara Robidoux comprises linked short stories about the lives of Indians who live at Northpoint, a fictional reservation in northeastern Maine. Robidoux, who’s lived in Maine on the Passamaquoddy reservation (rez), has Eastern Cherokee (Tsalagi), Italian and Scottish ancestry.

“Robidoux’s book covers the everyday events that confront this (rez) community and its struggles against corporate interests to take over tribal land for profit, the opening and rapid closing of a tribal Bingo hall, and the revenge of three elder ladies who cast their humor and rage against prejudiced neighbors in a non-Indian town which borders the rez,” said Trace Hentz, founder of the Blue Hand Books Collective.  “Her characters open their hearts and tell us sometimes angry and often humorous stories about what it takes to stand by their culture and language in the face of state and federal government pressure to assimilate.

“We’re honored that Barbara Robidoux chose to work with us. You’ll get wrapped up in her characters but even more wrapped up in the plot.”

“I am a huge fan of Wes Anderson and her stories remind me of Wes’s movies and the irresistibly good TV program Northern Exposure.  Her storyline and characters make you feel like you’re there in Maine – it’s that good. You’ll think of Dous, the Snoop Sisters, Molly, Edna and the others long after you finish this book,” Hentz said.

Barbara Robidoux is the author of two books of poetry Waiting for Rain (2007) and Migrant Moon (2012).  Her fiction has appeared in the Denver Quarterly, The Yellow Medicine Review, the Santa Fe Literary Review and numerous anthologies.  Robidoux holds a BA from the University of New Hampshire, an MA from Vermont College and is currently a candidate for an MFA in creative writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts.  She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she is currently at work on a full-length novel.

SWEETGRASS BURNING: Stories from the Rez is her first collection of short stories.

Blue Hand Books offers both paperback and e-book formats for readers. Their books are being offered on www.amazon.com and other online e-bookstores.

“We have a lot of exciting things happening at Blue Hand Books,” company founder Trace Hentz said. “2016 will be a banner year and Barbara’s book is the latest “Great Read” to be added to our growing inventory of acclaimed Indigenous authors.”

For more visit information visit the Blue Hand Books website [www.bluehandbooks.org], or visit the Blue Hand Books Facebook page.

EBOOK ISBN:   0-69237210-5

PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-0692642351

 LIST PRICE: $12.95 (ppbk)

$2.99 (Kindle, ebook) NEW! 2/25/2017

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Advance praise for Sweetgrass Burning:

Barbara Robidoux is a master storyteller. With ease, she weaves together the connections of Native people who have long known one another and their ancestors. The North Point Reserve is a community with open doors, the people inviting us in to feed us their stories. Inside each person’s words is their life as it was in recent years. We travel this map of reservation lives, recognizing the people. Their dwelling places become located in our own hearts. This incredible writer takes us on her journey of humanity and mystery. Along the way, the stories come together with her brilliance, her seeming ease of style. Robidoux has the unique ability to reveal all our strong and broken ways of being in this world. – Linda Hogan author of Dark Sweet, Power, Dwellings, Solar Storms, People of the Whale, The Woman Who Watches Over the World.


In SWEETGRASS BURNING Barbara Robidoux  introduces you to characters so lovable and human you’ll quickly come to call them family.  Navigating the fictional setting of the Northpoint reservation in northeast Maine, Robidoux’s  linked stories powerfully show a community surviving through humor, compassion, cooperation and tradition.
–  Chip Livingston, author of Crow-Blue, Crow Black and Naming Ceremony


Sweetgrass smoke and winter storms haunt Barbara Robidoux’s stories.  Fierce, yet tender, her characters’ struggles with tragic legacies and invasive industries will touch your heart and bring you to the rez in all its complicated, generous glory. –  Eden Robinson, author of Traplines, Monkey Beach and others
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Top Customer Reviews

An intimate look at a reservation in Maine peopled by characters who suffer, struggle, redeem and transform themselves. Although the setting is “fictional” it has both psychological and sociological realism. The focus is on the lives of women, particularly older women who are repositories of both hard earned wisdom and endurance. By turns funny in an understated but hilarious way (Sometimes death solves everything–one character says in relief), magical (a bear that is more than one kind of creature), touching, and unflinching these stories are highly original. A strong view of a world well known to the writer but hidden to many readers comes alive here in a multi-dimensional way. Robidoux has a poet’s touch with her prose, and a storyteller’s finesse with her tales.

 ****

MEDIA CONTACT: author interviews and photos will be provided upon request.

Trace Hentz, Blue Hand Books, www.bluehandbooks.org – (TWITTER) @bluehandbooks

bluehandcollective@outlook.com (413)258-0115 (message)

BOOK EXCERPT here: http://sweetgrassburning.pressbooks.com/

robidoux headshot bw
Author Barbara Robidoux

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