Part memoir, part manifesto, Chamorro climate activist Julian Aguon's No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies is a coming-of-age story and a call for justice – for everyone, but in particular, for Indigenous peoples.
Aguon beautifully weaves together stories from his childhood in the villages of Guam with searing political commentary about matters ranging from nuclear weapons to global warming. Bearing witness and reckoning with the challenges of truth-telling in an era of rampant obfuscation, he culls from his own life experiences to illuminate a collective path out of the darkness.
A powerful and bold new voice writing at the intersection of Indigenous rights and environmental justice, Aguon is entrenched in the struggles of the people of the Pacific who are fighting to liberate themselves from colonial rule, defend their sacred sites and obtain justice for generations of harm.
In No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies, Aguon shares his wisdom and reflections on love, grief, joy and triumph, and extends an offer to join him in a hard-earned hope for a better world.
Julian Aguon is an Indigenous human rights lawyer and writer from Guam. He is also the founder of Blue Ocean Law, a progressive firm that works at the intersection of Indigenous rights and environmental justice; and serves on the global advisory council of Progressive International.
Arundhati Roy is the author of The God of Small Things, which won the Booker Prize in 1997, and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2017. Both novels have been translated into more than forty languages. My Seditious Heart, published in 2019, collects the work of a two-decade period during which Roy devoted herself to the political essay as a way of opening up space for justice, rights, and freedoms in an increasingly hostile environment.
"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 The Color Purple
"Julian Aguon speaks to the soul. His words – gentle, fierce, luminous and haunting – urge us to look deeper. To be kind, to be human. To cherish the earth. I am in love!"
– Isabella Tree, author of Wilding
"The shortest BIG book I've ever read [...] 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
"No Country For Eight-Spot Butterflies broke my heart into anger and remade it into hope. Full of a fierce empathy, it is a brilliant, incandescent book. Julian Aguon shows us how love and beauty might guide us into a better, more equitable world."
– Seán Hewitt
"A breathtaking book and I mean it – this book took my breath away. No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies is so alive with passion, wisdom and heart, you can almost feel its pulse."
– Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
"It had me in its embrace like the oldest and dearest of friends [...] Overflowing with warmth and wisdom and defying all categorisation, No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies is philosophy, poetry, memoir, history and self-help for humanity. 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 This Changes Everything and No Logo
"No Country For Eight-Spot Butterflies [...] is uncategorisable – part memoir, part manifesto, part poetry and entirely beautiful [...] This is a book of passion and possibility, and unlike anything else I've read on our shared world and future."