As part of Arizona State University’s Humanities Week, join the Center for Imagination in the Borderlands for a discussion with middle grade author Brian Young (Diné from Fort Defiance, Arizona on the Navajo Nation.) Young will discuss his book, Healer of the Water Monster, which Publishers Weekly recently reviewed as an “excellently wrought middle grade debut” with “gentle, complex characters and flawed, loving human relationships.” Young’s Diné protagonist, Nathan, navigates tradition and magic as he finds himself a reluctant hero on a quest to save a Holy Being, the Water Monster, which has been poisoned by radiation. Beyond penning books for middle grade readers, Young won the Sundance Ford Foundation grant for film screenplay writing. He also acts.
Young will be in dialogue with Kyle Wilson, ASU Indigenous Rhetoric and Composition Program Director, who also grew up on the Navajo Nation in Fort Defiance. Their discussion will touch on the importance of Indigenous literature for young readers as well as the author’s experience combining older tribal tradition with newer cultural practices. They’ll focus on strong storytelling that resonates with Native youth. At the end of the conversation, several ASU students studying young adult literature will engage Young in a Q&A.