About the Book
"So compelling it gave me goosebumps from the very first pages."
—ISABEL ALLENDE, National Book Award–winning author of In the Midst of Winter and The House of Spirits
"Blood ties spanning almost a century connect Emma, an Indian Residential School runaway, to her great–granddaughter, Ella, a struggling actor. Hart draws on autobiographical details, turning her truth to fiction."
"Explores intergenerational trauma and power as these women survive and thrive, rising above poverty, racism and abuse through their connection with community, music, their ancestors and the power of nature."
—EAST BAY TIMES
"In a world clamoring for diverse voices and characters in whom readers can see themselves, as well as learning about people different from themselves, Alison Hart's Mostly White is a beacon. Through the story of four generations of women, from a mixed–race Native and African American family, our eyes and hearts are opened to a world we may not know, but should."
—ANDREW WEINER, Abrams Books
“Many of you have forgotten but our souls bear the costs of your purposely lost memories. Here are some of those soul stories…read and weep for us all…Thank you, Alison, for remembering the ancestors.”
—ABBY ABINANTI, Yurok, Chief Judge of the Yurok Tribal Court
"There is a genius of the heart, as well as the mind, and this book gives profound evidence that the author possesses both in abundance…Ms. Hart is not only keeping the faith, but she is passing it on to anyone who shares the epic heart–rending and soul–lifting experience of this book…a stunning achievement."
—ROBERTA LEE TENNANT, Falcon Books
"The immediate trust and bond of spirit meets the eruption of soul–searching prose, poetry, and the history of us all. Powerful and dangerous because these women are so real."
—JERRY THOMPSON, co-editor of Oakland Noir and Berkeley Noir
"Hart has written a great American epic, which should be read and discussed for many generations to come."
—LUCILLE LANG DAY, author of Married at Fourteen and Becoming an Ancestor
A family saga: four generations of mixed-race African American, Native American, and Irish women experience intergenerational trauma as well as the healing brought by nature and music, leading to triumphant resilience.
Mostly White begins in 1890 when Emma, a mixed-race Native American and African American girl, is beaten by nuns and confined in a closet for speaking her language at an Indian Residential school in Maine. From there, a tale that spans four generations of women unfolds. Emma's descendants suffer the effects of trauma, poverty, and abuse while fighting to form their own identities and honor the call of their ancestors.
Alison Hart studied theater at New York University and later found her voice as a writer. She identifies as a mixed-race African American, Passamaquoddy Native American, Irish, Scottish, and English woman of color. Her poetry collection Temp Words was published by Cosmo Press in 2015, and her poems appear in Red Indian Road West: Native American Poetry from California (Scarlet Tanager Books, 2016) and elsewhere. Hart lives in Alameda, California.