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Danielle Geller, Dog Flowers: A Memoir
August 31, 2021 @ EST 7:30 pm - 8:10 pmFree
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When Danielle Geller’s mother dies of alcohol withdrawal during an attempt to get sober, Geller returns to Florida and finds her mother’s life packed into eight suitcases. Most are filled with clothes, except for the last one, which contains diaries, photos, and letters, a few undeveloped disposable cameras, dried sage, jewelry, and the bandana her mother wore on days she skipped a hair wash.
An archivist and a writer, Geller uses these pieces of her mother’s life to try and understand her mother’s relationship to home and their shared need to leave it. She embarks on a journey where she confronts her family’s history and the decisions that she, herself, had been forced to make while growing up, a journey that will end at her mother’s home: the Navajo reservation.
Dog Flowers is an arresting, photo-lingual memoir that masterfully weaves together images and text to examine mothers and mothering, sisters and caretaking, and colonized bodies. Exploring loss and inheritance, beauty and balance, Danielle Geller pays homage to our pasts, traditions, and heritage, to the families we are given and the families we choose.
Danielle Geller’s debut book, Dog Flowers, was published by One World/Penguin Random House in 2021. A writer of personal essays and memoir, she received a Rona Jaffe Writers’ Award in 2016. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, Brevity, and Arizona Highways; and has been anthologized in This Is the Place. A British Columbia resident, she teaches creative writing at the University of Victoria and is a faculty mentor for the low-residency MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is a member of the Navajo Nation: born to the Tsi’naajinii, born for the white man.
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