Hot Best Seller

Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land

Availability: Ready to download

A powerful, poetic memoir about what it means to exist as an indigenous woman in America, told in snapshots of the author’s encounters with gun violence. Toni Jensen grew up around guns: As a girl, she learned to shoot birds in rural Iowa with her father, a card-carrying member of the NRA. As an adult, she’s had guns waved in her face near Standing Rock, and felt their sile A powerful, poetic memoir about what it means to exist as an indigenous woman in America, told in snapshots of the author’s encounters with gun violence. Toni Jensen grew up around guns: As a girl, she learned to shoot birds in rural Iowa with her father, a card-carrying member of the NRA. As an adult, she’s had guns waved in her face near Standing Rock, and felt their silent threat on the concealed-carry campus where she teaches. And she has always known that in this she is not alone. As a Métis woman, she is no stranger to the violence enacted on the bodies of indigenous women, on indigenous land, and the ways it is hidden, ignored, forgotten. In Carry, Jensen maps her personal experience onto the historical, exploring how history is lived in the body and redefining the language we use to speak about violence in America. In the title chapter, Jensen connects the trauma of school shootings with her own experiences of racism and sexual assault on college campuses. "The Worry Line" explores the gun and gang violence in her neighborhood the year her daughter was born. "At the Workshop" focuses on her graduate school years, during which a workshop classmate repeatedly killed off thinly veiled versions of her in his stories. In "Women in the Fracklands", Jensen takes the listener inside Standing Rock during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and bears witness to the peril faced by women in regions overcome by the fracking boom. In prose at once forensic and deeply emotional, Toni Jensen shows herself to be a brave new voice and a fearless witness to her own difficult history - as well as to the violent cultural landscape in which she finds her coordinates. With each chapter, Carry reminds us that surviving in one’s country is not the same as surviving one’s country.


Compare

A powerful, poetic memoir about what it means to exist as an indigenous woman in America, told in snapshots of the author’s encounters with gun violence. Toni Jensen grew up around guns: As a girl, she learned to shoot birds in rural Iowa with her father, a card-carrying member of the NRA. As an adult, she’s had guns waved in her face near Standing Rock, and felt their sile A powerful, poetic memoir about what it means to exist as an indigenous woman in America, told in snapshots of the author’s encounters with gun violence. Toni Jensen grew up around guns: As a girl, she learned to shoot birds in rural Iowa with her father, a card-carrying member of the NRA. As an adult, she’s had guns waved in her face near Standing Rock, and felt their silent threat on the concealed-carry campus where she teaches. And she has always known that in this she is not alone. As a Métis woman, she is no stranger to the violence enacted on the bodies of indigenous women, on indigenous land, and the ways it is hidden, ignored, forgotten. In Carry, Jensen maps her personal experience onto the historical, exploring how history is lived in the body and redefining the language we use to speak about violence in America. In the title chapter, Jensen connects the trauma of school shootings with her own experiences of racism and sexual assault on college campuses. "The Worry Line" explores the gun and gang violence in her neighborhood the year her daughter was born. "At the Workshop" focuses on her graduate school years, during which a workshop classmate repeatedly killed off thinly veiled versions of her in his stories. In "Women in the Fracklands", Jensen takes the listener inside Standing Rock during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and bears witness to the peril faced by women in regions overcome by the fracking boom. In prose at once forensic and deeply emotional, Toni Jensen shows herself to be a brave new voice and a fearless witness to her own difficult history - as well as to the violent cultural landscape in which she finds her coordinates. With each chapter, Carry reminds us that surviving in one’s country is not the same as surviving one’s country.

30 review for Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land

  1. 4 out of 5

    Autumn Byrd

    ARC was provided by NetGalley and Ballantine Books in exchanged for an honest review. This review is being published before the release date (September 8th, 2020) Content/Trigger Warnings: Police brutality, gun violence, violence, homicide, racism, microaggressions, talk of human trafficking, assault, rape, domestic violence, child abuse, animal abuse, harassment, mentions of murder, death, historical and cultural trauma, alcoholism, drug abuse, mentions of PTSD, and so much more! Wow, this mem ARC was provided by NetGalley and Ballantine Books in exchanged for an honest review. This review is being published before the release date (September 8th, 2020) Content/Trigger Warnings: Police brutality, gun violence, violence, homicide, racism, microaggressions, talk of human trafficking, assault, rape, domestic violence, child abuse, animal abuse, harassment, mentions of murder, death, historical and cultural trauma, alcoholism, drug abuse, mentions of PTSD, and so much more! Wow, this memoir is so, so powerful. Friends, I’m shaken and I can’t put enough emphasis on how important it is for you to practice self-care while reading this memoir. I know I have the content warnings listed above, but there’s literally content warnings for anything and everything you can think of. If I had been in a better head space, I would have finished this memoir a lot faster than the time it took me to actual finish. Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land is a memoir in the form of essays. These essays are a wide range of topics from domestic violence to police brutality and so many more. There’s a large plethora of topics, each one packed with emotions and hardships. You also see many major events that have happened throughout the years like the DAPL protests, the brutal murders of George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, and many others who lost their lives from police brutality. Again, I can’t stress enough how important it is to practice self-care while reading this book. All of these essays are through the author’s own experiences as a Métis woman, as a survivor. Jensen has a way of writing these essays to convey the weight of each topic. Probably the most unique thing throughout this whole book is the emphasis of language. The importance of language and how language has the power to change everything. “In other words, like the birds, in many ways, I’ve come a long way to see a place much like one I already know—I’ve come a long way to find another version of home.” I’m usually not someone who reads a lot of memoirs, biographies, autobiographies, etc… Usually due to never really connecting with the book or the things talked about. Plus, it’s not my place to really comment about someone else’s experiences. However, this memoir… I was sobbing and there were many parts of this memoir that I personally connected to because of surviving my own experiences of violence and hardships. The narration is beautiful, it reads very smoothly, and flows with general ease. I think the only issue I had with this book was some of the timeline jumping. There were parts where I had to reread the section to remember where in the timeline we were. So that was my only issue with the memoir. Otherwise, it was really easy to get sucked into this book. Overall, this was a great read. I truly think if I had been in a better head space, I would have flown through this this memoir. So again, please practice self-care because there’s content and trigger warnings for anything, and everything in this book. If you are in the right head space, I highly recommend picking this up especially if you’re trying to see the world and the events of the world through a different perspective than you own. There’s a lot of raw emotions throughout this book and it’s not an easy read, but one that’s needed. The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. |Blog|Instagram|Twitter|YouTube|

  2. 4 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    "It is all heartbreak, at least if you've given over your heart." - Toni Jensen, Carry Certainly this is a memoir. Certainly it is a collection of essays. But Toni Jensen's book is way more complicated than that. Its prose beats with a poetic cadence. It is poetic both in its construction and its precision. Toni uses repetition to create almost a chant, a heartbeat, a lyrical prayer to tie the book's themes together. She is reporting on the familiar. That is the scary thing. We have, through lazy "It is all heartbreak, at least if you've given over your heart." - Toni Jensen, Carry Certainly this is a memoir. Certainly it is a collection of essays. But Toni Jensen's book is way more complicated than that. Its prose beats with a poetic cadence. It is poetic both in its construction and its precision. Toni uses repetition to create almost a chant, a heartbeat, a lyrical prayer to tie the book's themes together. She is reporting on the familiar. That is the scary thing. We have, through lazy language and a shared dissimulation, ignored the violence that is our history and our present. We talk about it. But we also talk around it. We like to pretend this violence is exceptional. We like to feel like it is not the rule. Jensen shows us, however, through her experience and her refusal to buy into the familiar tropes, the signs that exist (both literal and figurative). We are a violent country. We have a gun problem. One of the ways she ties this book's essays together is through her use of Webster's Dictionary. Her use of the dictionary does a couple things. First, through multiple definitions for a word, Toni is able to link the various themes in the book. She also uses the dictionary as a way to show that this is a memoir (of essays) as much about the language of violence as it is about those who are hurt by violence and those who do the hurting. We need to name things well. We need to be aware when the naming of things is being used to obfuscate, to misdirect, to disengage. Finally, and more subtly, Toni is showing us how language is one of the ways we can protect ourselves. Words matter. Stories matter. Perspective matter. Giving voice to those who are hurt in our country matters. A dictionary isn't going to solve every problem, but it might just stop one bullet. Language might give one girl a refuge.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sheena

    Happy publication day! September 8th, 2020. Sometimes rating and reviewing a memoir can be really difficult. Who am I to judge someone’s life story? I almost was unable to rate this but settled with the 3 stars. While I enjoyed Carry by Toni Jensen, there were some parts of the writing and layout that didn’t quite work out for me but I will start with what I liked. Toni Jensen is an indigenous woman from the Métis tribe in particular but is white passing. I don’t see much indigenous representation Happy publication day! September 8th, 2020. Sometimes rating and reviewing a memoir can be really difficult. Who am I to judge someone’s life story? I almost was unable to rate this but settled with the 3 stars. While I enjoyed Carry by Toni Jensen, there were some parts of the writing and layout that didn’t quite work out for me but I will start with what I liked. Toni Jensen is an indigenous woman from the Métis tribe in particular but is white passing. I don’t see much indigenous representation out there (including white passing) so I really loved that! Jensen speaks about her experiences in sisterhood, parenting, and friendship. She also speaks about the relevant topics such as gun violence, police brutality, and racism. These topics are always important to discuss and read about and I thought her experiences were hearting stopping or goosebump inducing. Now what I didn’t like is that this is more of a collection of essays about her experiences. I would preferred a chronological order of events and how one thing lead to another. The order made it feel jumbled and disorganized. There are a lot of Webster definitions peppered throughout the book and I found it rather distracting and repetitive. I understand what point the author was trying to make but after I hit the 20% mark, I thought it overused. There is no doubt that Jensen can write, I found myself highlighting a LOT of quotes. Overall, I do think this is a relevant and important read due to the topics that are being discussed and I would have enjoyed it a lot more if the layout was different. Thank you so much to the author, the publisher, and Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book!

  4. 5 out of 5

    ♥ Sandi ❣

    2.5 stars Thanks to the Marketing Manager | Random House Group | Penguin Random House for the chance to read and review this ARC and to NetGalley for the download. How do you critique a memoir? You don't. A persons life and their thoughts about their life are theirs to own. So how do you review a memoir? You can't critique a memoir, but you can critique the manner in which it was written. I had a problem with this memoir. To me it felt disjointed, a bit hit and miss. There were sections that I en 2.5 stars Thanks to the Marketing Manager | Random House Group | Penguin Random House for the chance to read and review this ARC and to NetGalley for the download. How do you critique a memoir? You don't. A persons life and their thoughts about their life are theirs to own. So how do you review a memoir? You can't critique a memoir, but you can critique the manner in which it was written. I had a problem with this memoir. To me it felt disjointed, a bit hit and miss. There were sections that I enjoyed and then parts that left me scratching my head, wondering how they even fit in to the story. In addition this author felt the need to give definitions for specific words from the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary, not as a footnote, but right within the text, which for me, broke up the rhythm of the story. The crux of the story was balanced on violence - mostly domestic violence but also included murder and suicide, as the author recounted her life. It also spoke to the cost of being a Native American in a white American society. For me, this was not a good read. It read in fits - starts and stops, interruptions and often the topics changed abruptly, sometimes within the same paragraph. So without critiquing the life of this author I can speak, in my opinion, on how the story was presented, and for me the presentation did not make for a clear concise understandable story.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    Carry is a collection of essays about Toni Jensen’s experiences with many forms of violence, including domestic and gang, while focusing on gun violence and its personal and historical impact. While it was engaging, I didn’t realize beforehand that it's a series of interconnected essays, which made the timeline disjointed and at times it felt like info-dumping with statistics and dictionary definitions. The essay format made the book lack that feeling of connection I usually find and appreciate i Carry is a collection of essays about Toni Jensen’s experiences with many forms of violence, including domestic and gang, while focusing on gun violence and its personal and historical impact. While it was engaging, I didn’t realize beforehand that it's a series of interconnected essays, which made the timeline disjointed and at times it felt like info-dumping with statistics and dictionary definitions. The essay format made the book lack that feeling of connection I usually find and appreciate in memoir. The writing was powerful at times, especially as Jensen discussed her complicated relationship with her father. Ultimately, I don’t consider this a memoir but a collection of essays on gun violence with personal side notes; timely and important topics but told with restraint. I would’ve appreciated more of her story than history and statistics. Thanks to Ballantine Books for offering me an ARC via NetGalley. Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land is scheduled for release on September 8, 2020. For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    I am struggling with this review. The book has left me open and raw and angry and sad and deep in memories I never, ever, wanted to revisit [and thought I had dealt with, but apparently, I have just shoved them into one of those compartmentalized boxes in my brain and moved on], and it has also made me so incredibly angry and sad for the author. Even though she has worked through a lot of what happened to her in the past, how does one ever move on from that kind of trauma? And she cannot ever er I am struggling with this review. The book has left me open and raw and angry and sad and deep in memories I never, ever, wanted to revisit [and thought I had dealt with, but apparently, I have just shoved them into one of those compartmentalized boxes in my brain and moved on], and it has also made me so incredibly angry and sad for the author. Even though she has worked through a lot of what happened to her in the past, how does one ever move on from that kind of trauma? And she cannot ever erase [nor should she even want to] that she is Métis and proud of that [as she and everyone else that is, should be], even when it works against her. And it infuriates me that she even has to defend that she is proud of her heritage [I just cannot with ignorant people anymore]; but I also truly admire her; what she has been able to accomplish in SPITE of all the things that happened to her [abuse is insidious and permeates every part of your being and being able to move away from that and have even a partly normal life is amazing to me and I am in awe of her] and BECAUSE of the things that have happened to her. And even while you are wallowed in these stories, there is also admiration; she is winning. She may not think that at times, but to me, she is winning. And I admire her even more for that. Reading this brutal [because it IS brutal] book has made me realize that sometimes important books need to be brutal. And this is an important book. Even in that it is brutal and unhappy and anger-inducing and there is not a typical "happy ending" [or what the world classifies as happy ending], it needs to be read. It should be required reading. And it made me realize I need to change a couple ratings on some books I recently read. Just because a book is brutal and sad and bothers me, doesn't mean that it deserves less than 5 stars and that it isn't important. THIS book made me realize that. And I am grateful for that lesson [and I may or may not have learned this lesson before and have forgotten it - sometimes being uncomfortable makes you forget how important being uncomfortable is and how change only comes from people being uncomfortable]. You need to know [if you have not picked up on this already], this is not a happy book. Not even remotely. Filled with stories of her childhood and life, mixed with current [and not so current] events and a TON of dictionary definitions as well as statistics that will make your toes curl and your stomach contents curdle, there is little that is happy. And the things that are, you just grab at and cling to [ANYTIME she talks about her daughter is just a ray of sunshine and I loved every mention of her because you can tell she brings her mother such joy]. You need to know that if you have had trauma of any kind in your life, there will be moments that this book is extremely difficult to read. Please know, there is no shame in skipping sections, stopping for awhile, or for forever. Everyone who has had trauma in their lives deals with books/movies/life about trauma differently and you have to do what is best for you. I powered through, but there have been moments since last night that I have wondered if that was wise. And I am not sure how I will shove all that came out with this book back into the compartmentalized boxes that they belong in. You do what you need to do for you. And this book might not be for you, but then again, it just might be for you and be the very thing you need to move forward. Because for all its brutality and unhappiness, there IS a thread of hope throughout this. Hope for healing. Hope for the future [even in the midst of all that is happening]. Hope that she will never, ever, have to defend who and what she is E V E R again. And that those who are also Metis [and POC. And Native American. And. And. AND.] will never, ever have to defend who and what they are E V E R again. And that hope just might be exactly what you need. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing - Ballantine/Ballantine Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    When I first picked up Carry I thought it was going to be about Jensen's experience as an indigenous woman with gun violence. To some extent that is what it is, but Carry is also about violence against women, children, animals and as she discusses fracking, the raping and pillaging of the land. Through these essays Jensen correlates different forms of violence and provides evidence of how one type of violence breeds another. We have seen on the news how peaceful protests at the Dakota Access pip When I first picked up Carry I thought it was going to be about Jensen's experience as an indigenous woman with gun violence. To some extent that is what it is, but Carry is also about violence against women, children, animals and as she discusses fracking, the raping and pillaging of the land. Through these essays Jensen correlates different forms of violence and provides evidence of how one type of violence breeds another. We have seen on the news how peaceful protests at the Dakota Access pipeline have turned violent when police entered in riot gear to remove the protesters. Water cannons fired. Attack dogs were sicced. Tear gas was sprayed. Rubber bullets were shot. Tasers stunned. But this was not the beginning nor the end of the violence at Standing Rock. Jensen discusses how these construction projects serve as a hub for human trafficking with native bodies being reduced to commerce. "Indigenous women are almost three times more likely than other women to be harrassed, to be raped, to be sexually assaulted, to be called a that there." She also drives this message home using statistics about abuse. People found guilty of animal cruelty tend to be domestic abusers as well. None of their loved ones are untouched. Whether they are a witness or victim, violence leaves its scars. To which Jensen addresses violence against oneself in the form of chemical addiction. Drugs, in this sense, can be used as a means to get through pain but also to inflict pain. Carry was a heavy load to bear (pun intended). Because of my own anxiety I had to put it down at times. I couldn't let myself steep in the book and all of the emotions it wrought. Yet I have to say it is very well written. Despite all the violence and triggers, there is a sort of poetry to Jensen's words. As we navigate through these spaces and the fear that is perpetuated through the systemic violence against brown and black people, the lesson is realizing that the cycle of abuse is not just something that can be applied to dysfunctional households. Violence permeates our society and trickles down. It's a disease that we need to be more vigilant about finding a cure.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carla (literary.infatuation)

    Carry: A Memoir on Survival on Stolen Land, by Toni Jensen, is a memoir in essays, on a range of topics but with violence as a common theme. Domestic violence, settler violence; the violence of erasure; the violence of system racism; the violence of classism and white privilege, gun violence, violent crime, drug violence, and police violence. The brutal murder of George Floyd, Trayvon Martin and so many others on the hands of police. All through her own experience as a Métis, as a survivor. Possi Carry: A Memoir on Survival on Stolen Land, by Toni Jensen, is a memoir in essays, on a range of topics but with violence as a common theme. Domestic violence, settler violence; the violence of erasure; the violence of system racism; the violence of classism and white privilege, gun violence, violent crime, drug violence, and police violence. The brutal murder of George Floyd, Trayvon Martin and so many others on the hands of police. All through her own experience as a Métis, as a survivor. Possibly the most unique characteristic of this work is her emphasis on language, and her dissection of definitions. Language matters. How we represent our ideas and our reality matters. It has the power to change everything; and if there is one thing the reader will take with him/her/they at the end of the book, it might as well be the power of words. The collection is beautifully narrated, and has a smooth flow to it, though one essay seems divorced from the preceding one, at the end, it all comes together to give us a picture of the America we live in and how it got to be the way it is. How we turned out to be so comfortable with the myth of individualism (even at the expense of public health during a pandemic), un-fact-checked conservatism; to divorcing domestic violence with other forms of violence, like mass shootings and crime to the expense of our women and young; to thinking of Native Americans as expendable, as disappearing. It is painful and sad and real. It is the America we don’t want to see, but we know it to be true. We hear it in family conversations over Thanksgiving, murmurs at work over diversity hires, and in traffic stop encounters with police. I haven’t read a more current essay collection ever. Toni Jensen somehow managed to tackle all issues: domestic violence, sexual trafficking, policy brutality; classism, colorism and white privilege; gun violence, deprivation of land belonging to Native Americans; our uncomfortable relationship with racism and bigotry; mental health, poverty, crime, drug abuse and alcoholism; caring for our elders, how we tell our own history, fracking and so many more. I read more than 100 books a year, and I already know this will be my favorite book of 2020.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Oscreads

    Wow!!!! What did I just read? I need everyone to go read this right now. Review Coming Soon. Thank you Penguin Random House #partner for a copy.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elena L.

    In CARRY, we follow Toni Jensen- a Métis woman who grew up around guns. The memoir starts in Magpie Road - Iowa, where land and people belong to each other. Through straightforward and concise writing, Jensen describes the beauty of the nature and sacred land, as well as her and many different experiences with violence. Having a fair skin color, the author acknowledges her white privilege in contrast to her family members who suffer racism. Having lived in several cities across the country, Jense In CARRY, we follow Toni Jensen- a Métis woman who grew up around guns. The memoir starts in Magpie Road - Iowa, where land and people belong to each other. Through straightforward and concise writing, Jensen describes the beauty of the nature and sacred land, as well as her and many different experiences with violence. Having a fair skin color, the author acknowledges her white privilege in contrast to her family members who suffer racism. Having lived in several cities across the country, Jensen shares how it is to live in places with high crime rate. Among all the violence, Indigenous women are more likely to be assaulted and trafficked and it was infuriating to read the picture composed of exploitation, violence and trafficking of Indigenous women and children. As gun violence gives away to mass shooting, racism gives away to trauma, this reality portrays daily lives of many people. Weaving personal experiences with historical events, we witness how violence is perpetuated and its effects that last for generations. Moreover, when wealth and whiteness are combined, the narrative about gun violence takes another turn. "Lands are taken by force, as well as bodies" - the racism and lack of respect towards Indians is real and the author calls us to take action. Vulnerable and honest, this is a narrative not to be taken easily - issues of racism, human trafficking, domestic violence, alcoholism, mass shooting and animal abuse stand out from the pages and leave us unsettled. My critique is that I wasn't invested into every essay - some parts dragged more than others and I was more interested in chapters directly involving the author. While it took me some time to read this memoir, I am glad I read it - I ended up leaning a lot about Indigenous people and the violent cultural landscape. Thus, I highly recommend it for readers looking for a well-written memoir or those wanting to know more about Indigenous people or even people seeking a deeper look into violence in America. [ I received a complimentary copy from the publisher - Random House - in exchange for an honest review ]

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Carry by Toni Jensen is a stunning collection of thoughts and essays bound together to create a memoir of sorts and a glimpse into the world of a woman that has been immersed and experienced a multitude of sobering experiences: violence and tragedy in such a vast array of situations ( gun violence, racial injustice and violence, domestic violence, amongst others). All of this being presented from the viewpoint of a Native American. This book is real, raw, difficult to read (however it is a much Carry by Toni Jensen is a stunning collection of thoughts and essays bound together to create a memoir of sorts and a glimpse into the world of a woman that has been immersed and experienced a multitude of sobering experiences: violence and tragedy in such a vast array of situations ( gun violence, racial injustice and violence, domestic violence, amongst others). All of this being presented from the viewpoint of a Native American. This book is real, raw, difficult to read (however it is a much needed read), and gives the reader a feeling of vulnerability and exposure. I was thoroughly impressed by such a unique and unforgettable presentation. A must read. 5/5 stars Thank you NetGalley and Ballantine/Random House Publishing for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon and B&N accounts upon publication. Merged review: Carry by Toni Jensen is a stunning collection of thoughts and essays bound together to create a memoir of sorts and a glimpse into the world of a woman that has been immersed and experienced a multitude of sobering experiences: violence and tragedy in such a vast array of situations ( gun violence, racial injustice and violence, domestic violence, amongst others). All of this being presented from the viewpoint of a Native American. This book is real, raw, difficult to read (however it is a much needed read), and gives the reader a feeling of vulnerability and exposure. I was thoroughly impressed by such a unique and unforgettable presentation. A must read. 5/5 stars Thank you NetGalley and Ballantine/Random House Publishing for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon and B&N accounts upon publication.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alli-Oops

    Positively haunting. Totally engrossing. I don’t read many nonfiction books, let alone memoirs. But this book was as gripping and fraught as any novel, and it is beautifully written. Near the end of the second essay, Jensen writes of her family, “It’s okay, I’ve learned, to love the things that make you, even if they’re also the things that unmake you.” But the book carries that proclamation outward to cover, in addition to family, her profession (teaching), the communities she inhabits, our com Positively haunting. Totally engrossing. I don’t read many nonfiction books, let alone memoirs. But this book was as gripping and fraught as any novel, and it is beautifully written. Near the end of the second essay, Jensen writes of her family, “It’s okay, I’ve learned, to love the things that make you, even if they’re also the things that unmake you.” But the book carries that proclamation outward to cover, in addition to family, her profession (teaching), the communities she inhabits, our complicated and difficult and dangerous nation. It asks us to reckon with how much more complicated, difficult, and especially dangerous this place is for indigenous people, people of color, women, all marginalized folk. And of course, it turns full-face toward that topic most American and most taboo of all—our guns.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Darrenglass

    This book is about families. It is about alcoholism. It is about the struggle of native people. It is about guns and violence. It is about teachers and students. It is about Black Lives Matter and it is somehow already about COVID. It is the story of one woman’s experiences. It is about birds. In other words, this book is about America. And it is a wonderful read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Honaker

    “This isn’t a story, then, so much about being Indian in America or even being Métis in America. It’s a story about being those things and striving toward whiteness; it’s about the cost of that striving.” Toni Jenson’s voice is one we need in this country. Her work, Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land, brings to the fore an image of America we would rather normalize or ignore. Jensen confronts the language we choose to tell our stories of racism, white adjacency, violence, gender, family, “This isn’t a story, then, so much about being Indian in America or even being Métis in America. It’s a story about being those things and striving toward whiteness; it’s about the cost of that striving.” Toni Jenson’s voice is one we need in this country. Her work, Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land, brings to the fore an image of America we would rather normalize or ignore. Jensen confronts the language we choose to tell our stories of racism, white adjacency, violence, gender, family, poverty, sex, and how we carry these narratives bodily. There is a dissonance created between the poetic language she writes in and the subject she writes about. The elegant prose pushes up against images of profound injustice. She shows through uncontestable facts, unrelenting repetition, and visceral imagery that language matters, words matter, images matter as we seek to bring to light personal and cultural histories of indigenous people long ignored and denied. Thank you to Net Galley & Ballantine Books for the ARC of this incredible book! Find my full review on: https://www.writeordietribe.com/revie...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth Bialosky

    This book took me longer than I expected to finish, but just because it was a lot of processing to sit with. I saw that there were some lower reviews on this book, but I don't think they are truly fair. This book isn't an easy read specifically because it is more metaphorical and extensive than appears by simply the text in the book. However, if you give yourself the time to engage with it, it's remarkable and beautiful. Especially in the time of indigenous people's day, I highly recommend this This book took me longer than I expected to finish, but just because it was a lot of processing to sit with. I saw that there were some lower reviews on this book, but I don't think they are truly fair. This book isn't an easy read specifically because it is more metaphorical and extensive than appears by simply the text in the book. However, if you give yourself the time to engage with it, it's remarkable and beautiful. Especially in the time of indigenous people's day, I highly recommend this book to anybody who struggles with understanding the contemporary indigenous experience and the connection of today's struggles with the past.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennie Rosenblum

    I received this as an ARC on Netgalley - This is a mostly dark and gritty account. It’s hard to say whether or not I liked it as it was more of an experience that had ups and downs. Also growing up around guns I could relate to some of the experiences the author was describing but others were so foreign that I had to stop and think through what she was presenting. This is a book for those wanting to experience scenes that may be foreign but at the same time very difficult to relate to. This is d I received this as an ARC on Netgalley - This is a mostly dark and gritty account. It’s hard to say whether or not I liked it as it was more of an experience that had ups and downs. Also growing up around guns I could relate to some of the experiences the author was describing but others were so foreign that I had to stop and think through what she was presenting. This is a book for those wanting to experience scenes that may be foreign but at the same time very difficult to relate to. This is definitely not for the reader that is faint of heart and was best read in small episodes to help with the comprehension of all that is being revealed.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chris Roberts

    America is all kinds and ways, a separation planet, it is peopled by colonizer humanoids, a medicine woman has the ability to subtract flesh and blood. #poem Chris Roberts, Patron Saint to the Impossible People

  18. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    Wow. Really beautifully written memoir of a Metis woman and her experiences/thoughts as a woman and a US citizen around violence. Started last night and finished this morning.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Huber

    3.5 stars Chapter Malliumpkin (Autumn) has a bunch of trigger warnings, so I'd check out her review! Thank you to the publisher for the e-copy! Carry is a memoir reflecting on the violence/gun violence Tori has seen throughout her life. I especially liked the passages about her time at Standing Rock, during the NODAPL protests. As dark as this was, some of this darkness is necessary. We experience too much as Indigenous people, and sometimes it has to be put on paper.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Carry is a lyrical memoir, composed in a series of vignettes that move fluidly across time and place. Toni Jensen recounts her experiences growing up as a Métis woman, mixing personal stories with essays on broader issues in American culture. She returns again and again to gun violence, but also addresses sexual violence, addiction, abuse, racism, misogyny, police brutality, and the historical and cultural trauma imposed on Indigenous people. These are heavy topics, but Jensen’s prose does not b Carry is a lyrical memoir, composed in a series of vignettes that move fluidly across time and place. Toni Jensen recounts her experiences growing up as a Métis woman, mixing personal stories with essays on broader issues in American culture. She returns again and again to gun violence, but also addresses sexual violence, addiction, abuse, racism, misogyny, police brutality, and the historical and cultural trauma imposed on Indigenous people. These are heavy topics, but Jensen’s prose does not bury you under their weight. Rather, she asks you to consider the impact on those who must carry legacies of violence. Carry is a book worth your time and attention. Undoubtedly one of the best books I will read this year, Carry is at once full of beauty and devastation. Jensen recounts her childhood in Iowa and her nomadic existence as a college professor and writer. Her descriptions of lovely images and scenes – of the land, of wildlife, of her relationship with her sister when they were young – are juxtaposed with her stark essays on mass shootings and the trafficking of Indigenous women near fracking operations. She focuses on stories rather than statistics, recounting, for example, personal experiences with gun violence as well as narratives of major mass shootings like the Pulse nightclub shooting. Many of her stories are grounded in the places she has lived, and she pays careful attention to the history of the land and the dwellings she calls home. She varies between first-, second-, and third-person perspectives as seamlessly as she does between essays that are story-like versus those that are more straightforward accounts, finding a fitting structure for each section. This is a book that all Americans should read, period. I encourage you to pick it up with the knowledge that it is a difficult but incredibly worthwhile book. I look forward to reading more of Jensen’s work. ----- Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Erin || erins_library

    (Review copy provided by Ballantine Books) Métis author Toni Jensen’s memoir is one of violence. The violence, particularly gun violence, that touches her life as a US resident mirrors the experiences of many of us in this country. The chapters are a bit disjointed and not necessarily linear to the timeline of her life, but that didn’t really bother me. We got different snippets of her life at a crucial moment. It made me think about about how in our daily lives, we have gotten used to how things (Review copy provided by Ballantine Books) Métis author Toni Jensen’s memoir is one of violence. The violence, particularly gun violence, that touches her life as a US resident mirrors the experiences of many of us in this country. The chapters are a bit disjointed and not necessarily linear to the timeline of her life, but that didn’t really bother me. We got different snippets of her life at a crucial moment. It made me think about about how in our daily lives, we have gotten used to how things are. When we are able to see everything laid out across the length of even one person’s life, the depth of the problem becomes clear and overwhelming. Something else I appreciated was that Jensen, who has moved a lot around the US, was very thoughtful in honoring the people whose land she was on by acknowledging and naming them. She also frequently listed dictionary definitions for certain words which brought into focus the importance of language and the words we use. Even the everyday words we take for granted. Overall, I’m glad to have read Toni Jensen’s story. At times it was poetically written and at others it was more straightforward, but it was always powerful. The essays didn’t always feel like they carried their thoughts through to their conclusion. It took me a little while to hook into the book, but I recommend it if you’re looking to reflect on the ways violence has effected all our lives. What trauma do we each individually and collectively carry? CW: Many different kinds of experiences with violence, so proceed with caution, including guns, mass shootings, domestic violence, racism, human trafficking, child abuse, animal abuse, police brutality, alcoholism, murder, MMIW

  22. 5 out of 5

    Casey the Reader

    Thanks to Penguin Random House for the free copy of this book. CARRY is a memoir in essays by Toni Jensen, a Métis woman from the Midwest who later traveled all over the country as a journalist and professor. The book tracks scenes from her life alongside this country's epidemic of gun violence, and how the personal and the national stories collide. CARRY is one of the timeliest books I've ever read, and one of the starkest. The prose in this book is blunt, to the point. No time to waste when we' Thanks to Penguin Random House for the free copy of this book. CARRY is a memoir in essays by Toni Jensen, a Métis woman from the Midwest who later traveled all over the country as a journalist and professor. The book tracks scenes from her life alongside this country's epidemic of gun violence, and how the personal and the national stories collide. CARRY is one of the timeliest books I've ever read, and one of the starkest. The prose in this book is blunt, to the point. No time to waste when we've already lost so much. Jensen draws lines between colonization, masculinity, abusers, gun access and more, showing readers the complicated reasons for the unending violence we see every day. Jensen makes clear that this is a specifically Métis story but also the story of anyone who lives in the United States. Her background plays into her own experiences, but these experiences are not limited to her community, only magnified there due to the parallel violence of colonization and its many long-lasting effects. At times the writing feels disjointed as Jensen jumps back and forth in time and between various locations. However, I think it ultimately ended up adding to the sense that domestic abuse and gun violence are pervasive problems, outgrowths of so many factors and impossible to separate from the fabric of American life. Content warnings: physical and emotional abuse, gun violence, police brutality, human trafficking, sexual harassment and assault, rape, child abuse, animal abuse, murder, suicide, alcoholism and drug abuse, racism, bigotry, and more.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melinda

    From now on I will always aspire to bring the right amount of snakes.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    In my attempt to read more "Own Voices" books, I knew even going into this one that I have a serious deficit when it comes to Native American fiction and history. Sure, like nearly every literary fiction nerd out there I've read a Louise Erdrich or two and Tommy Orange's "There There, " but clearly there is a lot more to explore and Toni Jensen's "memoir" is a good place to start. Jensen felt like a new voice to me and again, saying that, I place the blame squarely on me as a Native American voi In my attempt to read more "Own Voices" books, I knew even going into this one that I have a serious deficit when it comes to Native American fiction and history. Sure, like nearly every literary fiction nerd out there I've read a Louise Erdrich or two and Tommy Orange's "There There, " but clearly there is a lot more to explore and Toni Jensen's "memoir" is a good place to start. Jensen felt like a new voice to me and again, saying that, I place the blame squarely on me as a Native American voice should not be "new" to me as a middle-aged (white) male -- tho perhaps the publishing industry can share partial responsibility this kind of diversity didn't feel as readily available or on-the-radar as it is in more recent times. A lot of ground is covered here from growing up and being Native American, specifically Metis, in "America" and the genetic trauma that reveals itself in what are often seen as stereotypical issues of poverty, health issues, alcoholism, and domestic violence. Growing up back East, I did not come from an environment of gun ownership (even for merely hunting) so Jensen's discussions of gun culture and violence was particularly enlightening as were the ones racism (and passing and not passing as white) and sexism -- and there's even some quick takes on Trump and the current pandemic (I have been surprised how much of my non-fiction this year (2020) has so quickly addressed the pandemic while we're still in the middle of it). My main quibble with the book are primarily on execution. As you may have noticed I put "memoir" in quotes above. This is more like a mish-mash of memoir and essays. The memoir part is very non-linear, jumping back-and-forth through time and the seemingly dozens of places Jensen called home at one point or another. Typically, this does not bother me but I had a more difficult time with it here. At times, I wished it was either straight-out, linear memoir -- or an essay collection vs. using the memoir part to get to the essay-ish parts. And I join many others (I had to read some Goodread reviews while reading this -- something I very rarely do -- just to make sure I wasn't the only one feeling this way), but Jensen's hook of using "Webster dictionary defines... " grated on my after about the 17th time. But overall a very worthy read despite the technical merit deductions -- it truly highlights the human experience, both the things that unite and divide and separate us.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Perchikoff

    I don’t read a lot of memoirs. I don’t read a lot of nonfiction (although, that has been changing this year). But when I got an email from the publisher about Carry, something about the synopsis drew me in. And with the assurance that the publisher would also be sending copies of the ARC to Indigenous reviewers (I will be listing as few at the end of my review), I decided to download it and review it. I was not disappointed. As I’m not part of the Indigenous community, I can’t say how good a repre I don’t read a lot of memoirs. I don’t read a lot of nonfiction (although, that has been changing this year). But when I got an email from the publisher about Carry, something about the synopsis drew me in. And with the assurance that the publisher would also be sending copies of the ARC to Indigenous reviewers (I will be listing as few at the end of my review), I decided to download it and review it. I was not disappointed. As I’m not part of the Indigenous community, I can’t say how good a representation this is of Indigenous life or Métis life, but I will be talking about the writing and different sections of the memoir. It is told in vignettes (not sure that’s the right word), but it’s not told in a linear way which, as y’all know, I LOVE. First, trigger warnings!!: Guns (obviously), gun violence, physical abuse, sexual abuse (not strictly on the page), threats of violence, mass shootings, school shootings Ok, let’s talk writing. This could not be better written. It’s poetic and raw. It pulls no punches. This is definitely one of the best pieces of creative nonfiction I’ve read in a while. The way the author can mention a short snippet of something and then come back to it and have you anticipate it despite you knowing it’s not going to be a “nice” story is truly brilliant. She mentions the abuse by her father several times but doesn’t say what exactly happened until closer to the end. Like she’s preparing you for it and I really appreciated that. I don’t know what else I can say. The writing is gorgeous and the way she weaves together history, personal experience, facts, and opinion is so brilliant. I’m envious as someone who tried to do this successfully in school with less than amazing results. Her stories also punched me in the gut. I’m not comfortable around guns. I don’t know if I ever will be. The fact that she had so many stories around guns kind of shocked me despite knowing the country we live in. I’m definitely privileged in that and it made me think why I don’t have more gun-related stories. The fact that I could get a gun so easily with my shaky hands and my mental health record is utterly fucked up and probably one of the reasons I stay as far away from them as possible. Jensen’s story about teaching and having someone with a history of violence be in her classroom scared the shit out of me. I’ve been in night classes like that, in conservative places like that, with shady-looking dudes like that. It painted those experiences in a different light. Of what could have been. Also, the part near the beginning where she talks about being in a field and the men in the car trying to trap her…that had me afraid to move from my couch. Sexual violence or even the possibility, the hinting at it makes every red flag in my body go on high alert (hence why I don’t normally read books with it in it) and this was no different. Except when I read it in fiction, I can put it away. It’s not real. It’s in a story. But this really happened. These fuckers, the dudes that come with the pipelines and the fracking, still exist in the world and they’re still hurting so many people. It’s not just about the environment. It’s about the communities and women who are abused too. And not enough people are listening. I highly recommend everyone read Carry. Even if you think you’re informed on the issues it covers, reading it yourself makes the abuse and the problems hit you more than any news article or study can. I am giving Carry by Toni Jensen 4.5 out of 5 stars. If you’re looking for a steller memoir, you can’t go wrong here.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sasha

    "I don't know where to put these connections — I don't know where to put my grief and rage sometimes in this, our America. Sometimes I think of the rage and grief like a road through traffic and there's nowhere to turn off and there's nowhere to park." **Miigwech to Ballantine Books (and Penguin Random House) for this finished copy of Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land by Toni Jensen.** Sometimes you start a book, a collection of memoir essays, and the timing isn't right. Not because of th "I don't know where to put these connections — I don't know where to put my grief and rage sometimes in this, our America. Sometimes I think of the rage and grief like a road through traffic and there's nowhere to turn off and there's nowhere to park." **Miigwech to Ballantine Books (and Penguin Random House) for this finished copy of Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land by Toni Jensen.** Sometimes you start a book, a collection of memoir essays, and the timing isn't right. Not because of the writing, but because the content is too heavy to hold on to, too massive and unwieldy to carry consistently. This is one such instance. Jensen's book is many things. It's about Métis survival, about Jensen's survival, and domestic violence, sexual violence, societal violence, mass violence, and above all it's about gun violence in its myriad existent forms in the U.S. She calls upon MMIW, on police brutality and murder, on everyday acts of violence, deeply colored by race and class. There's a lot of trigger warnings for this book, so be aware. I'm going to be honest, sometimes this collection felt disjointed. Sometimes I worried that Jensen's attempts to trace the linkages of our own everyday proximity to extreme violence fell too closely toward centering one's self. We all live not far removed from violence, but when and how do we deal with it? How do we relate? How do we relay our stories without obscuring the important details of instances of violence not our own? The essay on the Twin Cities particularly bristled against me, and mentions of George Floyd left me uncomfortable and disquieted. But this, of course, is a relationship to space I carry much differently than Jensen. That same concern also leaves room for us to acknowledge how we react to stories of violence. Jensen's writing reminds us constantly that we are surrounded by violence, that some can choose to move on with life while those most deeply effected are forced to carry that trauma ever after. But this is also about survival. It's about carrying trauma and about carrying our personal and shared histories and striving to change systems. It's about carrying our missteps, our happy moments and joy alongside our sorrows and fears and anger and healing. The title is representative of Jensen's regular defining of ordinary words we otherwise don't think about. Words like carry, chicken, and passing carry multitudes in meaning and how we engage with that meaning requires context and knowledge. Such is the way we each carry our histories with guns, with violence. I can't say I enjoyed this book (is that every the right word for books with difficult content?). It was frustrating and painful and sometimes felt messy, but it mirrors truths about this country that need to be examined. It holds a mirror up to the reader and asks "And what about you? How are you carrying grief and rage? How do you carry on?"

  27. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    I was provided with a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Firstly, I think a trigger warning is very useful here - violence of many different types is discussed. Written in a series of essays, Carry is a beautifully written book about a Métis womans life and the intersection of historical overlap. Jensen utilizes dictionary definitions to shape how the reader views the story (and in my experience, to then reflect how that term is utilized outsi I was provided with a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Firstly, I think a trigger warning is very useful here - violence of many different types is discussed. Written in a series of essays, Carry is a beautifully written book about a Métis womans life and the intersection of historical overlap. Jensen utilizes dictionary definitions to shape how the reader views the story (and in my experience, to then reflect how that term is utilized outside of the book). While not an easy read, I very much appreciate having the opportunity to do so.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    [3.5 stars] This is a tough one to review, if I’m being honest. I think calling it a memoir was a disservice, and would have been better served by calling it an essay collection. Although thematically it was connected, the lack of chronology or a more obviously intentional timeline resulted in a disjointed story that was ultimately distracting. Last bit of constructive critique, and then I’ll move on to the good bits... this could have used a stronger edit - the dictionary definitions and at time [3.5 stars] This is a tough one to review, if I’m being honest. I think calling it a memoir was a disservice, and would have been better served by calling it an essay collection. Although thematically it was connected, the lack of chronology or a more obviously intentional timeline resulted in a disjointed story that was ultimately distracting. Last bit of constructive critique, and then I’ll move on to the good bits... this could have used a stronger edit - the dictionary definitions and at times the repetition pulled me out of the narrative even further. That being said, so much of this was poignant and slaps. I found myself highlighting several passages that resonated with me as if Toni Jensen was inside my head - giving words to something I hadn’t quite realized was residing there. It’s hard to imagine one woman experiencing (and surviving!) so much trauma and violence - but as she writes, many of us in America witness, experience, even expect so much everyday violence as “normal.” Despite its flaws, I think this is absolutely worth reading and would widely recommend. I do wonder if some of the stylistic choices would fare better in audio format. (Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced review copy)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Autumn

    Toni Jensen's Carry is a memoir in essays about her experience as a Métis woman, with a particular focus on how gun violence has become rampant and touches numerous lives. It's also about identity, trauma, being a writer, etc. Guns are woven throughout, from her father's own possession, to encounters she's personally had, to other people she's known who have been affected by them. For example, she writes of the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando, a place that she used to live and which her stu Toni Jensen's Carry is a memoir in essays about her experience as a Métis woman, with a particular focus on how gun violence has become rampant and touches numerous lives. It's also about identity, trauma, being a writer, etc. Guns are woven throughout, from her father's own possession, to encounters she's personally had, to other people she's known who have been affected by them. For example, she writes of the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando, a place that she used to live and which her students would frequent. Her life is almost presented as a web, a twisted game of "three degrees from..." as she relates herself to these events.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Siobhan

    Outstanding. The stories of the violence in her family are painful and heart-stopping, but they're not sensationalistic poverty porn; they're nestled in much larger stories of settler violence, gun violence, racialized and class violence. Powerful, poetic prose (though I wish it had been edited more carefully for verb tense and repetitive tics like "According to Webster's dictionary"). Her book of short stories has languished on my to-read list for some time and has now moved up.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.