Norma Dunning is an Inuit writer, scholar, researcher, and grandmother. Her creative work keeps her most grounded in the traditional Inuit ways of knowing and being. She lives in Edmonton.
"Dunning's stories, nuanced and deeply felt, reach deep into the heart of what it means to be Inuit, into the sacred place where the songs of the north are still sung, visions are still seen, and the spirits still speak. From this place, it is possible to laugh at those who come to destroy. From this place, dignity is maintained and the connection to the turning of the seasons is unbroken. Together with grief for what has been lost, there is power and light in these stories." [Full review at https://www.forewordreviews.com/reviews/annie-muktuk-and-other-stories/] -- Kristine Morris * Foreword Magazine * "When I read the article, 'What inspired her was getting mad,' about the story behind Norma Dunning's debut collection, Annie Mukluk and Other Stories, I was not surprised. Acts of justice and revenge factor throughout the book, propelling the stories so terrifically. Dunning wrote her stories in response to ethnographic representations of Inuit people that neglected to show them as actual people, and the result is a book that's really extraordinary. Because her people are so real, people who laugh, and joke, and drink, and have sex (and they have a lot of sex)." [Full post at http://picklemethis.com/2017/08/02/annie-muktuk-and-other-stories-by-norma-dunning] -- Kerry Clare * Pickle Me This * "Although [Dunning] deals with serious contemporary realities for Inuit people, she manages to work in moments of humour that flesh out her characters, making them fully realized and complex." -- Matthew Stepanic * Where.ca * # 10 on Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers list, September 24, 2017 # 6 on Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers list, October 01, 2017 # 10 on Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers list, October 22, 2017 "A successful short story takes us to unfamiliar places, and the 16 stories in this collection certainly fill that bill. It's a journey deep into Inuit life, with tales of Inuk of all shapes, genders and ages. The title story is at turns funny, violent and cunning: Jimmy tries to convince best friend Moses to stay away from the glorious Annie Muktuk, an arnaluk (naughty woman, according to the glossary) who will cause him grief. [Full article at https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/2017/11/24/new-reads-for-short-story-lovers.html] -- Sarah Murdoch * Toronto Star * "This whole collection is fantastic, but the story with the bad trip is 'Husky', inspired by the life of trapper and HBC Factor "Husky" Harris whose visit to Winnipeg with his three Inuit wives, Tetuk, Alaq and Keenaq, is written about in history books. In the story, naturally, the group and their children make an impression at their hotel, and the racism of hotel staff leads to a fight that lands Husky in the hospital. The violence doesn't end there and the women are further victimized-but then they enact the most beautiful justice." [Full article at https://49thshelf.com/Blog/2017/08/14/The-13-Worst-Holidays-in-Canadian-Literature] -- Kerry Clare * 49th Shelf * "Inuk writer Norma Dunning's debut collection passed under the radar of the big awards despite being the year's best short fiction collection. The stories infuse Inuit myth with reality, explore the effects of colonialism, and delve into settler-writer portrayals of Inuit, all told with heart and humour that is infectious." Michael Melgaard, on his No. 1 book of 2017, [Article at http://nationalpost.com/entertainment/books/np99-24-2-best-books-of-2017] -- Michael Melgaard * National Post * "I love Norma Dunning's Annie Muktuk and Other Stories. The similarities are striking between Maori and Inuit ways of referencing ancestors, landscape, relationships, spirituality, mythology, and the social cultural political issues we face as tangata whenua (Indigenous people). Her representations of trauma, love and grief with clever narrative twists are fantastic, as are the acts of revenge. She writes of sacred ancestral knowledge, informed by ancient spirits." [Full article at http://press.futurefire.net/2018/02/interview-with-iona-winter.html] -- Iona Winter "Fiction solves the problem of other minds, by cutting readers directly in on the thought and being of other people. If it has a moral purpose it is this: to give us empathetic understanding of other people, many of them very different from ourselves, in gender, and culture, and race.... I liked this book very much, for its rich characterization, for its liveliness in dialogue, and most of all for the window it presents on another form of consciousness, one to which a unique world of spiritual beings is very near." -- Susan Haley * Fiddlehead * "Norma Dunning's debut short story collection is sensitive, intelligent and intense. Right from the first story, 'Kabloona Red,' in which an Inuit women knocks back cheap red wine whenever her white husband is away, Dunning writes about authentic experience. The narrators are first person or closely focused third, so the Inuit characters' confusion and pain as they struggle to maintain individual and cultural identifies are felt directly.... Strong currents of anger and courage propel the Inuit characters. They are survivors.... I loved this book." -- Candace Fertile * Alberta Views * # 7 on Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers list, April 15, 2018 # 9 on Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers list, May 06, 2018