Review: Bishop by Candace Nola

Skeleanor returns with a video review covering the positives and her niggles with Bishop. Please note: trigger warnings for Indigenous viewers, as some of the content in the video, and below the video here, may cause offense.

A look at the positives, and my niggles/quibbles with Bishop, by Candace Nola.

Bishop has a really great pace, a great sense of place, and keeps you invested and interested. So what dropped a potential 4 star read to 3 stars? Skeleanor looks at a couple technical issues, plus some significant issues about Indigenous representation and why authors need to do extensive research before writing about and, in this case, appropriating another culture. She looks at the use of the Wendigo in this story, plus a harmful stereotype used to describe a character. #bookreview #books #review #Indigenous

Please note: Indigenous persons should be aware this book may be traumatizing for them and consider that when deciding whether or not to read it. One thing the video review doesn’t mention is the references to an Indigenous character going “savage”. Straight talk. I had a friend with the surname Savage back in the 90s. And I used that surname for a character and thought nothing of it at the time, which is evidence of my privilege. However, a controversy that played out on social media just a few years ago highlighted the fact that this is a harmful, racist word for Indigenous persons. Google “Johnny Depp sauvage controversy” for more details. My only excuse for not talking about this is that I recorded this at 3 AM.

One final thought. Indigenous persons can refer to themselves however they like – with the other ‘I’ word or as NA. Non-Indigenous persons cannot and should not. Using inappropriate terms betrays racism and disrespect. As wordsmiths, we should take our use of language seriously, and while I got bogged down in my research on other issues in the book when recording, this is my harshest criticism for Bishop, and upon reflection, perhaps 3 stars was generous.

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