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No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies by Julian Aguon
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No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies

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No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies by Julian Aguon
Hardcover $23.00
Sep 13, 2022 | ISBN 9781662601637

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  • Sep 13, 2022 | ISBN 9781662601637

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  • Sep 13, 2022 | ISBN 9781662601644

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Product Details


“Julian Aguon connects the global struggles for justice with the local precision and anecdotes of Guam and Oceania. The result is this deeply felt book: Aguon writes so you understand the arguments for change with your mind and feel the urgency in your heart.”
—José Olivarez, author of Citizen Illegal

No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies is a masterpiece, a literary talisman shaped by mad beauty and grief, evoking the magic of presence and poetry, warding off cynicism and injustice. I keep it close. You will too.”
—V (formerly Eve Ensler), author of The Vagina Monologues and The Apology

“A powerful, beautiful book. Its fierce love—of the land, the ocean, the elders, and the ancestors—warms the heart and moves the spirit.”
—Alice Walker, author of Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart

“Powerful with love, and tender about what it needs to be tender about, and direct, even fierce where it means to tell us what we need to be thinking about what we’ve been doing to this world, to Aguon’s people, and to Indigenous people everywhere, to the land and to all its beings . . . as the dying eight-spot butterfly he writes about, strong and luminous as a needed beacon in a fog of disinformation and dismay, Julian Aguon with this small book emerges already a giant.”
—Tommy Orange, author of There, There

“I did not know I needed this book until it had me in its embrace like the oldest and dearest of friends, from the very first page . . . With bottomless love for his people and place, Aguon guides us through a portal to the Pacific, sharing deep insights earned from life on the existential knife’s edge.”
—Naomi Klein, author of How to Change Everything: The Young Human’s Guide to Protecting the Planet and Each Other

“Inspired spiritual and practical wisdom from a Guam lawyer/poet/seer that transmits ways of knowing, feeling, and acting, which speak directly to the mind and heart of everyone on the planet. If reading this short book doesn’t change your life, nothing will.”
—Richard Falk, author of Public Intellectual: The Life of a Citizen Pilgrim

“A breathtaking book and I mean it—this book took my breath away . . . alive with passion, wisdom, and heart, you can almost feel its pulse. A call not only for justice but for a brand-new covenant with our world.”
—Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

“Aguon’s pen is a spear. He has the unerring ability to pierce the heart of any matter he writes about, from colonialism to climate change, and he writes in a way that both exposes horrors and expresses love to the young.”
—Noenoe K. Silva, author of Aloha Betrayed

“This book is a gift—full of beauty, truth telling, and love. This book will enlighten and inspire anyone interested in understanding and doing something about colonialism, capitalism, racism, militarism, war, and violence of all kinds. As importantly, this book will move you emotionally. It will move you to change how you live your life. It will move you to help change the world for the better.”
—David Vine, author of Base Nation and The United States of War

“Aguon is one of Oceania’s most important thinkers who uses his ability to see through complicated systems to fight for our islands and peoples. With razor-sharp analysis and a ton of heart, he both defends and calls forth our communities. I will regularly return to this book for inspiration—to remind me why I do my own work.”
—Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, author of Iep Jaltok: Poems from a Marshallese Daughter

“Aguon’s work transcends all boundaries and centers Indigenous relationships to people and place. Whether drawing on his legal or poetic skills, Aguon reckons with the rage and violence of colonialism while gently unfolding a new vision for justice and healing.”
—Holly Barker, author of Bravo for the Marshallese

“Aguon gifts us, in shrunken times, the indigenous version of the all-encompassing vision that Aristotle and his disciple Aquinas bequeathed humanity: truth equals beauty equals goodness.”
—Maivân Lâm, author of At the Edge of the State

“What an incredible gift. This book is a powerful spiritual remix, a multi-scalar tapestry of love, kinship, resistance, and creative survival from Oceania. His tribute to our late elder sister, Teresia, brought tears of grief and joy. Ko bati n rabwa Julian,
‘we will live . . . on our own terms.’”
—Katerina Martina Teaiwa, author of Consuming Ocean Island

“A celebration of Indigenous hope and survival amid the destructive and desecrating forces of militarism, capitalism, and climate change, and a provocation for collective action for just and sustainable futures in the Marianas—a must read for anyone interested in the beauty of Indigenous worlds and struggles for liberation!”
—Christine Taitano DeLisle, author of Placental Politics

“Reading this collection reminds me of being immersed in our ocean. The sunlight that illuminates the water cannot be held, and yet to behold the ways rays and sea dance together opens the soul . . . Aguon is one of Oceania’s most brilliant advocates and expansive voices—a voice that urgently needs to be heard.”
—Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua, author of The Seeds We Planted

“A devastatingly gentle song of resistance.”
—Jonathan K. K. Osorio, author of Dismembering Lāhui

“Aguon tells the Chamorro story by merging a profound love for our indigenous people and culture with his potent intellect and creative genius.”
—Anne Perez Hattori, author of Colonial Dis-Ease

Table Of Contents

Introduction by Arundhati Roy 

The Properties of Perpetual Light 
Go with the Moon 
No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies 
My Mother’s Bamboo Bracelets: A Handful of Lessons on Saving the World 
A Handful of Lessons on Saving the World 
Sherman Alexie Looked Me Dead in the Eye Once 
More Right 
Birthday Cakes Mean Birthdays 
Yugu Means Yoke 
A Crowbar and a Conch Shell 
The Gift Anne Gave Me 
Nirmal Hriday 
The Ocean Within 
We Have No Need for Scientists | 59 We Reach for You 
Reflections While Driving 
Nikki and Me 
Onion and Garlic 
Fighting Words 
Yeye Tere 
Our Father 

Curved Sticks and Cowry Shells: A Conversation between Julian Aguon & Desiree Taimanglo-Ventura 


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