Winner, PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Literary Award
Winner, 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award, Gold Medal for Autobiography/Memoir
Shortlisted for the 2014 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing
"Bad Indians stands out as a classic quintessentially Indigenous memoir." --Joy Harjo
This beautiful and devastating book--part tribal history, part lyric and intimate memoir--should be required reading for anyone seeking to learn about California Indian history, past and present. Deborah A. Miranda tells stories of her Ohlone Costanoan Esselen family as well as the experience of California Indians as a whole through oral histories, newspaper clippings, anthropological recordings, personal reflections, and poems. The result is a work of literary art that is wise, angry, and playful all at once, a compilation that will break your heart and teach you to see the world anew.
Deborah A. Miranda is an enrolled member of the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation of the Greater Monterey Bay Area in California. Deborah lives in Eugene, Oregon with her wife, writer Margo Solod, and a variety of rescue dogs. She is Professor of English emerita at Washington and Lee University, where she taught literature of the margins and creative writing as the Thomas H. Broadus, Jr. Endowed Chair.Her mixed-genre memoir Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir received the 2015 PEN-Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award, a Gold Medal from the Independent Publishers Association, and was short-listed for the William Saroyan Literary Award. Bad Indians was published in a 10th anniversary edition by Heyday in 2022. She is also the author of four poetry collections: Indian Cartography, The Zen of La Llorona, Raised by Humans, and Altar for Broken Things. She is the co-editor of Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature and contributing editor of When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through.