The Forgetters: Stories

The Forgetters: Stories
Paperback, 5.5 x 7.5, 248 pages
ISBN: 9781597146302.

By Greg Sarris

A tender, astonishing, and richly beautiful story cycle about remembering our shared histories and repairing the world.

Perched atop Gravity Hill, two crow sisters—Question Woman and Answer Woman—recall stories from dawn to dusk. Question Woman cannot remember a single story except by asking to hear it again, and Answer Woman can tell all the stories but cannot think of them unless she is asked. Together they recount the journeys of the Forgetters, so that we may all remember. Unforgettable characters pass through these pages: a boy who opens the clouds in the sky, a young woman who befriends three enigmatic people who might also be animals, two village leaders who hold a storytelling contest. All are in search of a crucial lesson from the past, one that will help them repair the rifts in their own lives.

Told in the classic style of Southern Pomo and Coast Miwok creation stories, this book vaults from the sacred time before this time to the recent present and even the near future. Heralded as a “a fine storyteller” by Joy Harjo, Greg Sarris offers us these tales in a new genre of his own making. The Forgetters is an astonishment—comforting and startling, inspiring reveries and deepening our love of the world we share.

Reviews

"These new, intricately spun stories narrated by twin crow sisters are parables passed down through generations, re-envisioned for a 21st-century world fraught with unnatural dangers. They offer all of us the possibility of healing, connection, even love." Jane Ciabattari, Literary Hub
"[These] stories, loosely anchored in creation myths but also firmly grounded in place and time, are enigmatic and open-ended, and nearly always center people who have learned, to their peril, to ignore their connections to the land and each other. [...] These incandescent stories will linger in the reader’s imagination." Publishers Weekly
"A parable about two crow sisters, Answer Woman and Question Woman, Sarris’s new book is a paean to the mysterious world that Indigenous people inhabited before the current age. Even though Answer Woman knows all the tales, she can recall them only when asked by her sister. As they sit atop Gravity Hill, a hidden realm is revealed through their conversation, which promises power and healing." Alta Journal
"The Forgetters is a short story cycle about cultural loss and re-learning the history of the land through an Indigenous lens." Megan Beauregard, BookTrib
"I have loved all of Greg Sarris's books. This collection, though, is completely immersive, giving readers new visions of beloved places. Each tale is a testament to never forgetting that the mountains, the sea, the rivers, animals and humans are all one. Osprey and abalone, wind and child, hummingbird and human—all unforgettable." Susan Straight, author of Mecca
"Greg Sarris once again tells us a story filled with stories that lift the spirits in troubled times. A wonderful read that transports us to a realm of beauty, kindness, and love of life." Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States
"I feel as if these stories have put me in a trance and I keep re-reading them. This collection of stories really penetrates the bone marrow and provides medicine for all of us who live on this land––and other places where colonization has distorted our relationship with the Land and her Stories." Leny Mendoza Strobel, author of Coming Full Circle
"Through beautifully crafted tales of love and loss, of memory and survival, Sarris breathes his uniquely individual voice and vision into an ancient oral narrative tradition. These fierce and often funny tales revive and release the long dormant seeds of memory, love, and humility within us, with hope for human survival as their harvest." Scott Lankford, author of Tahoe Beneath the Surface
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About the Author

Greg Sarris

Greg Sarris

Greg Sarris is currently serving his sixteenth term as Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and his first term as board chair for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. His publications include Keeping Slug Woman Alive (1993), Grand Avenue (1994, reissued 2015), Watermelon Nights (1998, reissued 2021), How a Mountain Was Made (2017, published by Heyday), and Becoming Story (2022, published by Heyday). Greg lives and works in Sonoma County, California. Visit his website at greg-sarris.com.

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