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FICTION | AVAILABLE NOW

THE MISSING MORNINGSTAR 
And Other Stories

by STACIE SHANNON DENETSOSIE

"Propulsive and complex, this is a gorgeously written debut."

—KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review)

Stacie Shannon Denetsosie confronts long-reaching effects of settler-colonialism on Native lives in a series of gritty, wildly imaginative stories. A young Navajo man catches a ride home alongside a casket he’s sure contains his dead grandfather. A gas station clerk witnesses the kidnapping of the newly crowned Miss Northwestern Arizona. A young couple’s search for a sperm donor raises questions of blood quantum. This debut collection grapples with a complex and painful history alongside an inheritance of beauty, ceremony, and storytelling.

September 2023 | Fiction | 9781948814850 | 144 pp | $16.95

 

2024 SOUTHWEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR WINNER

 

34TH ANNUAL READING THE WEST BOOK AWARDS LONGLIST, DEBUT FICTION

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

STACIE SHANNON DENETSOSIE is a citizen of the Navajo Nation her clans are Todích'íí'nii (Bitterwater Clan), born for Naakaii (Mexican Clan). She is from Kayenta, Arizona but currently resides in Northern Utah. She is a recipient of the UCROSS Native American Fellowship. Stacie graduated with her MFA in Fiction from the Institute of American Indian Arts in 2021. Her work has appeared in Yellow Medicine Review, Phoebe Magazine, and Cut Bank. Her debut short story collection, The Missing Morningstar and Other Stories received a Kirkus Star, and she is also a contributor to the Torrey House Press anthology Blossom as the Cliffrose: Mormon Legacies and the Beckoning Wild

ALSO BY THE AUTHOR

BLOSSOM AS THE CLIFFROSE: Mormon Legacies and the Beckoning Wild

Blossom as the Cliffrose features original poems and prose by talented writers who are faithful, non-faithful, believers, heretics, converts and de-converts, dragged in or forced out of the Mormon faith. This dynamic collection demonstrates the breadth, complexity, and diversity of a Latter-day Saint legacy of commitment to natural place and challenges us to examine the myriad ways our own deeply rooted heritage shapes our personal relationship with landscape.

 

“Meditative and energizing, fierce and loving, balanced and rhythmic. An invitation to welcome faith and nature, and to embrace the tensions and beauty that spring from every crack and cranny along the way.”
—FOREWORD REVIEWS

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PRAISE FOR THE MISSING MORNINGSTAR

The Missing Morningstar effortlessly exudes power and charm in equal measure. Denetsosie appears on the page fully formed. A feat of voice, texture, heart, and an absolute thrill to read.”

—TOMMY ORANGE, author of There There

A stunning debut collection.

TERRY TEMPEST WILLIAMS

 

“Denetsosie skillfully enlightens readers about the Diné experience, offering a deeper understanding and awareness.”

—BOOKLIST

“Denetsosie debuts with a bracing and poignant collection portraying the rugged lives of her Diné characters and their complex family bonds. . . Denetsosie soars when depicting the characters’ close relationships with one another. It’s a potent display of modern Navajo life.”

—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

 

 

“An unflinching collection... altogether, the poignant stories of The Missing Morningstar represent a world of people searching for love, fulfillment, and belonging.”

—FOREWORD REVIEWS

 

“Beguiling, with quiet humor that pierces through even the darkest moments, Denetsosie’s stories mark a promising beginning, and we’ll hope to hear more from her soon.”

—PIMA COUNTY LIBRARY, Southwest Books of the Year


 

“Denetsosie’s gorgeous short story collection plunged deep into my soul, where these strong and resilient Navajo characters will remain for a very, very long time.”

—KALI FAJARDO-ANSTINE, author of Woman of Light

“Dii hane’igii yéego baatsisikeesgo ‘at’é…this collection of stories invites the reader to question what it means to be Diné, and what it means to be human. Denetsosie evokes Diné experiences that feel the simultaneous pull of the Diné homeland and the possibilities, even necessity, of life beyond reservation borders. Rooted in legacies of kinship, matriarchy, and Diné storytelling, these stories remind us of the importance and magnitude of saad (language, words, voice, sound, or expression). Denetsosie invites us to journey alongside complex Diné characters navigating the beauty, joy, pain, heartbreak, grit, and hope of living in the Glittering World. The future of Diné literature thrives in the pages of The Missing Morningstar.”

– MANNY LOLEY, director of the Emerging Diné Writers’ Institute.

“Stacie Shannon Denetsosie has given us insight and honesty on what it is to be Navajo now.”

—CALVIN CROSBY, The King’s English Bookshop

“Denetsosie's new collection delivers gritty, fantastical, and beautifully intimate short stories that shed light on the young Indigenous experience.”
—COWBOYS & INDIANS MAGAZINE

“Whether it's a young Navajo man's unsettling encounter with his grandfather's casket, a gas station clerk entwined in the mystery of a kidnapped beauty queen, or a couple's quest to unravel the complexities of blood quantum in their pursuit of parenthood, Denetsosie's narratives resonate with the struggles and triumphs of a vibrant community.”
—INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY

“Denestosie gives an unfiltered peer into Diné modern familiarity, something that anyone can relate or learn from. She doesn’t shy away from drawing a thread from contemporary life to tradition, bringing into stark constraints how colonialism has changed the conditions of everyday life for Diné people. Yet all of her characters experience love near fashion and grapple with life’s toughest decisions.”
—CAROLANN JANE DURO, Quiet Quail Books Founder

The Missing Morningstar is a vivid and imaginative mapping of the lives of Diné people and the many faceted ways in which we exist in this world. The characters have such depth that I could still see and hear them long after I had finished reading.”

—RAMONA EMERSON, author of Shutter 

“Full of voices that reveal grief and redemption, this collection is a compelling compendium of family, truths, loss and love. I loved it.”

—BRANDON HOBSON, author of The Removed

“Denetsosie’s characters are tied to the land and one another in ways that nurture and sometimes hurt. They’ll have you laughing, crying, and, sometimes, singing alongside them.”

—KELLI JO FORD, author of Crooked Hallelujah

“These are stories that will break your heart and make you laugh and break your heart some more.”

—TONI JENSEN, author of Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land and From the Hilltop: Stories

“Denetsosie’s voice, at once thunderous and tender, sings in The Missing Morningstar. A stunning debut.”

—KINSALE DRAKE, Founder of NDN Girls Book Club

“Two thirds heartbreak, one third redemption, these stories of contemporary life in and around the Navajo Reservation bear all the generational trauma of colonialism and all the hope and humor of the people who live between the four sacred peaks.”

—PAM HOUSTON, author of Air Mail and Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country

“Denetsosie’s characters are powerful reminders of why we keep on living.”

—HALEE KIRKWOOD, Birchbark Books

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