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Stressbusters: Learn stories behind Cherokee and Dakota novels

Stressbusters: Learn stories behind Cherokee and Dakota novels

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Three novelists will join forces for a discussion of their efforts to honor and reflect Dakota and Cherokee culture in their writing as part of this week’s Virginia Festival of the Book offerings.

“Indigenous Lit: Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, Kelli Jo Ford and Diane Wilson” will begin at noon Wednesday on Zoom. It’s part of the 27th annual book festival’s all-virtual lineup of discussions and events for a wide range of literary interests.

Clapsaddle is the author of “Even As We Breathe.” She is the first enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to publish a novel. An English teacher at Swain County High School in North Carolina, she has served as executive director of the Cherokee Preservation Foundation.

Ford penned “Crooked Hallelujah.” The debut author, a native of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, lives in Virginia and was shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and a Publishers Weekly Best Fiction Books of 2020.

Wilson, who wrote “The Seed Keeper,” is a Dakota writer, speaker and editor who is executive director of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance.

To take part, head to to register for the free Zoom event, or go to

After the event, a video recording will be available at

Live captioning is included. This year’s Virginia Festival of the Book will run through March 26. To register, and to check out the rest of the festival’s schedule, go to

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