An Indigenous artist blends the aesthetics of punk rock with the traditional spiritual practices of the women in her lineage in this bold, contemporary journey to reclaim her heritage and unleash her power and voice while searching for a permanent home.
Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe has always longed for a sense of home. When she was a child, her family moved around frequently, often staying in barely habitable church attics and trailers, dangerous places for young Sasha.
With little more to guide her than a passion for the thriving punk scene of the Pacific Northwest and a desire to live up to the responsibility of being the namesake of her beloved great-grandmother—a linguist who helped preserve her Indigenous language of Lushootseed—Sasha throws herself headlong into the world, determined to build a better future for herself and her people.
Set against a backdrop of the breathtaking beauty of Coast Salish ancestral land and imbued with the universal spirit of punk, Red Paint is ultimately a story of the ways we learn to find our true selves while fighting for our right to claim a place of our own.
Examining what it means to be vulnerable in love and in art, Sasha offers up an unblinking reckoning with personal traumas amplified by the collective historical traumas of colonialism and genocide that continue to haunt native peoples. Red Paint is an intersectional autobiography of lineage, resilience, and, above all, the ability to heal.
About the Author
Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe is a Coast Salish author from the Nooksack and Upper Skagit Indian tribes. She received a double MFA in Creative Nonfiction and Poetry from the Institute of American Indian Arts. She lives in Tacoma, Washington.
"Red Paint is an ode to healing and to healers, told by someone who intimately knows both. Steeped in punk music and poetry, it is an ode to indigenous inheritance, and to the work and wisdom necessary to recover from the legacies of trauma. It is the truest kind of love story: one in which every lover is a MacGuffin, propelling its narrator toward the person who matters most—herself." —Melissa Febos, author of Girlhood
“Red Paint is a miraculous book. Sasha LaPointe walks us through the sites of her evisceration while rebuilding a home within her body using sturdy materials: rose quartz, cedar bark, red clay, and the words of her ancestors. With each potent sentence, she shows us what access to power looks like. She shows us how to become whole.” —Elissa Washuta, author of White Magic
"As luminous as the morning sun over the fir forests, Red Paint is a story of where strength takes us. Sasha taqwšəblu LaPointe goes looking to the past to help heal from terrible traumas, finding inspiration in her ancestors, the Salish people. This is a book destined to be a classic. Read it." —Rene Denfeld, bestselling author of The Child Finder