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Write On, Mississippi! Interview with Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle



Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle discusses her debut novel, Even As We Breath, with her friend and fellow North Carolinian, Matt Sawyer. The book made Clapsaddle the first member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians the first member to publish a novel.


Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle: Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, an enrolled citizen of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and resides in Qualla, NC with her husband, Evan and sons Ross and Charlie. She holds degrees from Yale University and the College of William and Mary. Her debut novel, Even As We Breathe, was released by the University Press of Kentucky in 2020, a finalist for the Weatherford Award and named one of NPR's Best Books of 2020. In 2021, it received the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. Her first novel manuscript, Going to Water is winner of the Morning Star Award for Creative Writing from the Native American Literature Symposium (2012) and a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction (2014). Clapsaddle's work has appeared in Yes! Magazine, Lit Hub, Smoky Mountain Living Magazine, South Writ Large, Our State Magazine and The Atlantic. After serving as executive director of the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, Annette returned to teaching at Swain County High School for over a dozen years. She is the former co-editor of the Journal of Cherokee Studies and serves on the Board of Directors for the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and is the President of the Board of Trustees for the North Carolina Writers Network. Clapsaddle established Bird Words, LLC in 2022 and works as an independent contractor and consultant.

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