© 2024 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
89.9 FM is currently running on reduced power. 89.9 HD1 and HD2 are off the air. While we work to fix the issue, we recommend downloading the WSHU app.

Canadian novel 'Probably Ruby' explores legacy of forced Indigenous adoption and residential schools

Click here for the original audio and to read a book excerpt. 

In the novel “Probably Ruby” which is out in paperback this week, a young Canadian woman gets pregnant in the 1970s but is forced to give up the child for adoption, partly because she’s an unmarried teen, but also because the father is a young Indigenous man.

Baby Ruby is raised by a white family, who goes to great lengths to conceal her heritage with actions large and small — concealing information about her birth parents and making her wear large hats to prevent her skin from darkening.

The novel, written as a series of vignettes, spans 60 years and follows Ruby, her family and friends as she navigates her search for her family and a sense of belonging.

We revisit Here & Now host Celeste Headlee’s conversation with “Probably Ruby” author Lisa Bird-Wilson about the book, her own life as a Metis Canadian and Canada’s centuries of anti-Indigenous policy from April 2022.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.