Before I Was a Critic I Was a Human Being (Paperback)
Book*hug, 9781771665056, 192pp.
Publication Date: May 15, 2019
In that moment, I felt closer to whiteness than not. I was completely complicit and didn't think twice about entering a space that could cover their walls with images of contemporary Indigenous perspectives, but exclude their physical bodies from entering and experiencing. In that moment, I felt like a real Canadian.
Before I Was a Critic I Was a Human Being is the debut collection of nonfiction essays by Amy Fung. In it, Fung takes a closer examination at Canada's mythologies of multiculturalism, settler colonialism, and identity through the lens of a national art critic.
Following the tangents of a foreign-born perspective and the complexities and complicities in participating in ongoing acts of colonial violence, the book as a whole takes the form of a very long land acknowledgement. Taken individually, each essay roots itself in the learning and unlearning process of a first generation settler immigrant as she unfurls each region's sense of place and identity
Praise for Before I Was a Critic I Was a Human Being
?The hours I've spent with this knowing and moving book about place and placelessness are among the most valuable of my reading life. Wow, thank you, Amy." --Eileen Myles
"As an Indigenous/Haudenosaunee writer and reader, I recognize that Amy Fung's book does not try to convince us that she is a native rights ally but shows us with language how to mould the term ally into a verb." --Janet Rogers, author of Totem Poles and Railroads
"In this compelling work, Amy Fung breathes life and relevance into criticality. This visitor's guide is integral reading." --Cecily Nicholson, author of Wayside Sang, winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry.