Book launch – Kent Monkman and Gisèle Gordon: The Memoirs of Miss Chief Eagle Testickle: Vol. 1

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Presented in collaboration with the Ottawa International Writers Festival and Ottawa Public Library.

Join us as Adrian Harewood hosts celebrated Cree artist Kent Monkman and his long-time collaborator Gisèle Gordon, in conversation about their new book The Memoirs of Miss Chief Eagle Testickle: Vol. 1: A True and Exact Accounting of the History of Turtle Island, a genre-defying work based on the paintings of one of the most important painters working today that will remake readers' understanding of the land called North America. A story of this continent that reframes the narrative to be one of Indigenous resilience, reshaping our shared understanding and lighting the path ahead.

We will begin with a reading from Miss Chief before Kent and Gisèle join Adrian for a conversation.

For decades, the singular and provocative paintings by Cree artist Kent Monkman have featured a recurring character—an alter ego of sorts, a shape-shifting, time-travelling elemental being named Miss Chief Eagle Testickle. Though we have glimpsed her across the years in films and on countless canvases, it is finally time to hear her story, in her own words. And, in doing so, to hear the whole history of Turtle Island anew. The Memoirs of Miss Chief Eagle Testickle is the imagined history of a legendary figure through which profound truths emerge—a deeply Cree and gloriously queer understanding of our shared world, its past, its present and its possibilities.

Volume One, which covers the period from the creation of the universe to the confederation of Canada, follows Miss Chief as she moves through time, from a complex lived experience of Cree cosmology to the arrival of European settlers, many of whom will be familiar to students of history. An open-hearted being, she tries to live among those settlers, and guide them to a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of all beings and the world itself. As their numbers grow, though, so does conflict, and Miss Chief begins to understand that the challenges posed by the hordes of newly arrived Europeans will mean ever-greater danger for her, her people and, by extension, all of the world she cherishes.

Event details

Friday, November 17, 2023
7 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time)
Event admission
Free admission
Event location
Library and Archives Canada
Alfred Pellan Room
Event address
395 Wellington Street, Ottawa

Seating is limited, so please register.


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