Spotlight on “Coexistence” by Billy-Ray Belcourt

by LitStack Editor

Coexistence is a collection of superbly rendered portraits of modern indigeneity from Billy-Ray Belcourt, the acclaimed author of A Minor Chorus.

Coexistence by Billy-Ray Belcourt

About Coexistence

A grieving mother calls out to her faraway son. 

A student forgoes the lurid appeal of dating apps in exchange for a painter’s love. 

The anonymous voices of queer native men converge amid violent eroticism. 

A man just out of prison balances the uneasy weight of family and freedom, while a professor returns home to conduct research only to be haunted by a dark specter. 

The stories and voices in Billy-Ray Belcourt’s debut story collection are buoyed by philosophical undergirding, poetic demand, and the complex relationship between aesthetics and ethics. Belcourt pirouettes through the short story form in his signature staccato voice, imagining a range of characters from all walks of native life. He is an expert in celebrating the ways Indigenous peoples make total conquest impossible.

Source: Publisher
ISBN-13: 9781324075943
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/21/2024

LitStack Coexistence Billy-Ray Belcourt
LitStack Coexistence Billy-Ray Belcourt

Praise for Coexistence

“Coexistence filled my heart and lifted my spirit. There are few writers who can authentically capture the beauty and complexity of Indigenous existence both on the rez and in the city like Billy-Ray Belcourt. This book is a resolute proclamation of resilient Indigenous humanity and the nuance and richness we all embody. The stories weave and enrich on journeys that are both familiar and informative. Coexistence is a powerful celebration and a gift to the world.”—Waubgeshig Rice

“Billy-Ray Belcourt masterfully portrays the complexities of Indigenous lives, longing, and belonging through these stories. There are sentences in this collection that I didn’t know I had been waiting to read; my breath caught on several of them. I suspect that readers will be letting out collective sighs while reading this book.”—Helen Knott

“Belcourt is one of the finest and most sublime writers at work today. This book is a feat of beauty and compression, every sentence reinventing the reader. It’s like entering a quiet room or a secret lake. It’s about our coexistence with lovers, kin, enemies, but also our coexistence with desire, solitude, and an intelligence that in itself is a form of hunger––language as solace, language as light. Belcourt is the rare writer who composes from, to, and because of the soul. It’s been some time since I loved a book so deeply.”—Claudia Dey

“Through the interconnected lifeworlds contained in Coexistence, we hear a defiantly loving and astoundingly honest response to colonial and racial violence. Billy-Ray Belcourt has written an homage and an elegy to a still-unfolding history — as intimate and hopeful as young romance, as mysterious and life-giving as family. I adore this collection.”—Tsering Yangzom Lama

LitStack Coexistence Billy-Ray Belcourt
LitStack Coexistence Billy-Ray Belcourt

“In Coexistence, Billy-Ray Belcourt has written a collection of deeply moving and philosophical stories. These characters’ passionate insistence on loving and desiring and hoping, amid the existential terror of colonization—and Belcourt’s nuanced and attentive rendering of it—is the most revolutionary of acts.”—Vauhini Vara

“Billy-Ray Belcourt’s Coexistence is a brilliant exploration of the boundaries both imposed and imagined that exist between beings and the spaces we inhabit. I wildly admire Belcourt’s crisp prose and remarkable insights, yet what haunts me most about these powerful stories is the author’s heart-blasted willingness to be vulnerable on the page. This engaging, alive text drills right to heart of what it is to be Indigenous in the 21st century.”—Mona Susan Power

“These characters’ passionate insistence on loving and desiring and hoping, amid the existential terror of colonization—and Billy-Ray Belcourt’s nuanced and attentive rendering of it—is the most revolutionary of acts.”—Vauhini Vara, author of Pulitzer Prize finalist The Immortal King Rao

“A brilliant exploration of the boundaries both imposed and imagined that exist between beings and the spaces we inhabit. This engaging, alive text drills right to the heart of what it is to be Indigenous in the twenty-first century.”—Mona Susan Power, author of A Council of Dolls

About Billy-Ray Belcourt, Author of Coexistence

Coexistence

Billy-Ray Belcourt is a writer from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He is an assistant professor in the School of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia and the founder of oteh nikan, an online magazine of LGBTQ2S+ indigenous writing. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.

You can find and follow Billy-Ray Belcourt on his website, on Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter).

Titles by Billy-Ray Belcourt

LitStack Coexistence Billy-Ray Belcourt

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