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(Skin to the Core)

How about a book that makes you barge into your boss's office to read a page of poetry from? That you dream of? That every movie, song, book, moment that follows continues to evoke in some way?

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“I had never heard the slang term “Apple” before reading this book. In this powerful YA memoir Eric Gansworth tells the story of his family, Onondaga living among Tuscaroras, he tells what it means to be “red on the outside, white on the inside.” To say that this book made me think is most definitely an understatement, it continues to make me think, it continues to make me look in the mirror.”

Garden District Book Shop image Rayna, Garden District Book Shop


The term "Apple" is a slur in Native communities across the country. It's for someone supposedly "red on the outside, white on the inside."

Eric Gansworth is telling his story in Apple (Skin to the Core). The story of his family, of Onondaga among Tuscaroras, of Native folks everywhere. From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds.

Eric shatters that slur and reclaims it in verse and prose and imagery that truly lives up to the word heartbreaking.

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“It gave me chills…Truly a masterpiece.”

Dr. Ricki Ginsberg, President of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN)

“An unforgettable book about love, ashes, and resilience.”

Laurie Halse Anderson, NYT bestselling author of Shout



About the author

Eric Gansworth, S˙ha-weñ na-saeˀ, is an enrolled Onondaga writer and visual artist, raised at the Tuscarora Nation. His award-winning books include If I Ever Get Out of Here, Give Me Some Truth, and Extra Indians. He is a Professor and Lowery Writer-in-Residence at Canisius College.


“A powerful narrative about identity and belonging.”

Paste Magazine

“Easily one of the best books to be published in 2020. The kind of book bound to save lives”

Lit Hub

“Exceptional….Apple is a stirring depiction of Indigenous life likely to evoke empathy from and resonate with all who venture into Gansworth's world.”

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