Synopses & Reviews
Leah Myers may be the last member of the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe in her family line, due to her tribe's strict blood quantum laws. In this unflinching and intimate memoir, Myers, determined to leave a record of her family history, excavates the stories of four generations of women. Beginning with her great-grandmother, the last full-blooded Native member in their lineage, she connects each woman with her totem to construct her family's totem pole: protective Bear, defiant Salmon, compassionate Hummingbird, and perched on top, Raven.
As she pieces together their stories, Myers weaves in tribal folktales, the history of the Native genocide, and the larger story of how, as she puts it, her "culture is being bleached out," offering sharp vignettes of her own life between White and Native worlds.
Crisp and powerful, Thinning Blood is a bold reclamation of one woman's identity that raises urgent questions about heritage, family, and what it means to belong.
"[A] searing debut...Myers's fierce testimony is both record and reclamation of [family] history, told beautifully and simply. Any family would be lucky to have their story handled with this much care." — Publishers Weekly
"This powerful, memorable debut runs hot with Leah Myers's fierce intelligence. She admirably interrogates her relationship to identity, her place in her family's history, and the future of her people — and demands a long-delayed justice." — Matt Bell, author of Appleseed
"A quietly elegiac memoir that could serve as an enduring historical document." — Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Leah Myers received an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of New Orleans, where she won the Samuel Mockbee Award for Nonfiction two years in a row. She now lives in Alabama, with roots in Georgia, Arizona, and Washington.