Melissa Michal has been a writer since her first story at age five. She made her nephew a king on his birthday. Since then, her writing has sought to unsilence, to reveal, and to ignite power so that others will know about pain and resilience--and so that others will seek out truths about many different peoples.
"The familial relationships here are strong and tender, no matter who they bond: long-lost siblings, grandparents and grandchildren, spouses and friends, the dead and the living. Melissa Michal has created potent stories around all of them, with disturbing and beautiful elements all at once. All of the characters, even in the shortest stories, are full of depth and nuance, making this one of the more underrated short story collections of the year." Sarah Nielson, Literary Hub
“The stories in Living on the Borderlines cross bloodlines, heart lines, and cultural lines, powerfully charting what it is to be human in a world that works to divide us.” —Susan Power, author of Sacred Wilderness
“Living on the Borderlines is a beautiful window into understanding Indigenous worldviews. Indigenous cultures think primarily in terms of space, and Western Europeans think in terms of time. Yet, Indigenous stories sharing original wisdom is how the first peoples of this land survived despite countless attempts to eradicate our race, culture, and way of life. This book is an unapologetic contemporary perspective of the truth of healing through Indigenous storytelling.” —Sarah Eagle Heart, CEO of Native Americans in Philanthropy
"Living on the Borderlines is a hauntingly beautiful collection of stories of contemporary women and girls who live in the spaces between the reservations and traditional Indigenous territories and rural and urban communities stretching across western New York to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and beyond, to the island of Haida Gwaii off the coast of British Columbia. Despite the family choices, personal losses, intergenerational and historical traumas that separate Melissa Michal's characters across time and space, both they and their stories are woven together by their ancestral bloodlines, spirits and voices that dance and dream, spelunk and sing them from the past, through the present and into a resurgent future. Michal's debut is a stunning achievement." --Nikki Dragone
Image of book cover with five dancing women and dancing young girl along the bottom. Along the top, in the sky area, are ancestors playing music. Cover art by Natasha Smoke Santiago. Please check out her webpage and help to support her work: http://storytellershouse.com/