Book Buzz: Thunder Song

Thunder Song: Essays by Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe

Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe’s debut memoir, Red Paint, was all about healing. Her new book, Thunder Song, is all about embracing contradiction—about both charting a new path and staying rooted. These carefully crafted, multi-layered essays explore themes that are dear to LaPointe’s heart: her queer and indigenous identity, activism, and family history.

LaPointe dives into personal experience with the clear-eyed perspective of someone who has healed from trauma. In “First Salmon Ceremony,” she writes about happy memories smoking salmon with her family, years of eating vegan to fit in with her white punk friends, and the peace she found in decolonizing her diet. In “Basket Woman” she weaves together multiple story elements—her years as a teenage runaway, Coast Salish tales passed down by her grandmother, and a red dress hanging from a tree in her Tacoma neighborhood—to spread awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous women.

The essay format gives LaPointe space to lean into complexity and let her writing shine. Thunder Song is her best yet.

Reviewed by Emma Radosevich, collection development librarian, Whatcom County Library System

(Originally published in Bellingham Alive June/July 2024 issue.)