Cover Reveal of Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth
If you’re reading my work for the first time, Welcome, and if you’re returning, welcome back. Those who fall into the latter may recognize the fictionalized version of Tuscarora Nation where Give Me Some Truth takes place, or “the Rez,” as most of us call it. In my community, you mostly exist through your family’s identity within the group. So when I’m getting ready to write a new novel, I look at my existing cast of characters, and develop a new one by first identifying which other characters they’re related to. I ask the new character, “Now whose kid are you?”
No matter which family, I know one mainstay of my work. Indigenous cultures here and the stories about them tend to be viewed as frozen in a tragic past of romanticized displacement, groups of people losing their identity. For some reason, the idea of indigenous communities evolving seems incongruous to some readers. To encourage people to see more realistic possibilities, I have committed to keeping my fiction largely set in my lifetime and my characters as affected by and evolving in response to the broader American identity. Even as they maintain connections to their own traditional culture, my characters embrace trends in Popular Culture too, making their own treaties about identity.
Sometimes, those treaties are not so easily forged. When I was coming of age, it was not uncommon to run into No Indians signs at local businesses, and those encounters are among the seeds for this book. Sometimes, even now, the signs are still there but just invisible, as I myself am. I’ve accepted this as a reality of my life, but I felt that when a young person—Indian or not—has such encounters now, it was important for them to know they’re not alone. If that’s a truth I can give them with this novel, then I’ve done my job with this book, and I hope you find it a fulfilling or at least eye-opening read.
The cover has a lot of qualities that really attract me. I’ve always been a big fan of ambiguous figures, and I like the way you can see the two hands as either struggling for control of the instrument or using combined strength to work together. The concentric lightning bolts suggest the multiple charges of intensity explored in Give Me Some Truth, and I was delighted to see the guitar is shaped like the Epiphone Casino, a signature Beatles guitar and one that plays a central role here.
Nyah-wheh, and oneh,
Eric Gansworth (Sˑha-weñ na-saeˀ) is Lowery Writer-in-Residence and Professor of English at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY and was recently NEH Distinguished Visiting Professor at Colgate University. An enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation, Eric grew up on the Tuscarora Indian Nation, just outside Niagara Falls, NY. His debut novel for young readers, If I Ever Get Out of Here, was a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick and an American Indian Library Association Young Adult Honor selection, and he is the author of numerous acclaimed books for adults. Eric is also a visual artist, generally incorporating paintings as integral elements into his written work. His work has been widely shown and anthologized and has appeared in IROQUOIS ART: POWER AND HISTORY, THE KENYON REVIEW, and SHENANDOAH, among other places, and he was recently selected for inclusion in LIT CITY, a Just Buffalo Literary Center public arts project celebrating Buffalo’s literary legacy. Please visit his website at www.ericgansworth.com.