Why is there no Native woman David Sedaris? Or Native Anne Lamott? Humor categories in publishing are packed with books by funny women and humorous sociocultural-political commentary—but no Native women. There are presumably more important concerns in Indian Country. More important than humor? Among the Diné/Navajo, a ceremony is held in honor of a baby’s first laugh. While the context is different, it nonetheless reminds us that laughter is precious, even sacred.
Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s is a powerful and compelling collection of Tiffany Midge’s musings on life, politics, and identity as a Native woman in America. Artfully blending sly humor, social commentary, and meditations on love and loss, Midge weaves short, stand-alone musings into a memoir that stares down colonialism while chastising hipsters for abusing pumpkin spice. She explains why she does not like pussy hats, mercilessly dismantles pretendians, and confesses her own struggles with white-bread privilege.
Midge goes on to ponder Standing Rock, feminism, and a tweeting president, all while exploring her own complex identity and the loss of her mother. Employing humor as an act of resistance, these slices of life and matchless takes on urban-Indigenous identity disrupt the colonial narrative and provide commentary on popular culture, media, feminism, and the complications of identity, race, and politics.
|I honestly can’t remember how I found Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s – I know it wasn’t pitched to me and it wasn’t on any of the Millions’ lists that I put together on Goodreads. It must have gone by on Twitter one day and I went “Oh hey, that title looks interesting!” and then I read the blurb and ordered it.|
Tiffany Midge may have served as poet laureate of Moscow, Idaho, but she is wickedly funny. I’ll have to check out her previous books. Because Bury My Heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s is a great collection of short essays and bitingly humorous parodies (such as “Trump Pardons Zombie Apocalypse”). Midge’s topics cover No DAPL protestors (she is a citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe), police and institutional violence against Native/Indigenous Americans, representations in media, “pretendians”, performative feminism lacking intersectionality, and the election of Trump And that’s just for starters. Some of her essays also talk about her relationships with her parents, with her mom’s irreverent humor in the face of terminal illness and her dad’s racism living cheaply as a white man in Thailand. If you like Samantha Irby‘s brand of humor, you’ll like this humor.
Dear FTC: I bought my copy of this book.