Apple, a memoir in verse and pictures by Eric Gansworth is an important addition to the literature of Niagara. Gansworth, who was raised on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation in Niagara County, New York, just outside Niagara Falls, still resides in the area and teaches in Buffalo, NY. The book has been longlisted for the 2020 National Book Award and is a Junior Library Guild selection.
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How about a book that makes you barge into your boss’s office to read a page of poetry from? That you dream of? That every movie, song, book, moment that follows continues to evoke in some way?
The term “Apple” is a slur in Native communities across the country. It’s for someone supposedly “red on the outside, white on the inside.”
Eric Gansworth is telling his story in Apple: Skin to the Core. The story of his family, of Onondaga among Tuscaroras, of Native folks everywhere. From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds.
Eric shatters that slur and reclaims it in verse and prose and imagery that truly lives up to the word heartbreaking.
Run to your nearest library or book store to read this remarkable collection by Eric Gansworth.