New Mexico author Anna Redsand’s new memoir “To Drink From The Silver Cup” details her upbringing as a missionary on the Navajo Nation and her decision to leave the church as she reconciled her sexuality.
“I became aware at the age of 16 that there would not be a place for me in the church, but it took me nine more years before I left,” Redsand said. “I was trying really hard to fit in. ... It was because I had a partner that I decided I was going to live my life as a lesbian.”
In 1973, that decision meant she would have to leave the church, she said.
Redsand will visit San Juan Coffee Co. in Cortez at 7 p.m. September 10 for a book reading. She is touring the southwest to promote her book until November. After that the book tour will move to British Columbia and down the west coast of the U.S.
Even though she grew up on the Navajo Nation, Redsand said she never felt like an outsider. It was enriching to learn a different language and experience a culture that was different from her own, she said.
As a child, she didn’t realize she was living a different sort of life, but as she grew older she became exposed to other environments, she said.
“I knew that there was more than one way to be — to be saved, or to live,” she said. “I could see that there was more than one way.”
Ever since she was 19 years old, Redsand has known she needed to write something about her experience, she said. Occasionally, she gets a sense that she might have revealed too much about a certain part of the story, but she said the book feels right.
There are lots of people who for different reasons can relate to the story, Redsand said. She’s meeting more and more people who she thinks need to hear her story.
“This was the one thing I had to do,” she said. “It’s becoming clear that that was the case.”
Redsand hopes that people reading the book will realize not to give up on working out tings in their lives that are unresolved. She encourages people to keep after their dreams.
“The book resonates with people who have felt outcast in different ways,” Redsand said.
For more information, visit www.annaredsand.com.