To the Bright Edge of the World deserves all the praise it has been receiving. In 1885, newly-married Colonel Allen Forrester leads a small group of men on an expedition into untamed Alaska Territory to explore the possibilities for future settlements and trade routes. He leaves his pregnant wife, Sophie, behind and they exchange letters, writing about the hardships they each face while away from the other.
What I’ve Stolen, What I’ve Earned is the most original, electric, and soul-altering book of poems I’ve read in more than a year. It reads like a nonlinear memoir that skips around Alexie’s life, with common threads charging the poems like drumbeats. The largest theme - growing up on an Indian reservation surrounded by a cast of remarkable characters with haunting stories – shows up in nearly every poem.
Back in the 50’s many of the rivers that salmon swam up were dammed to create cheap energy for the surrounding communities. The Indian villages were against changing the countryside and they also used salmon fishing as a way of making a living. The Dalles Dam is now 50 years old with a commemoration during the month that Cal Claxton moves to Oregon.
A rape has been committed. But in this 2012 National Book Award winner, The Round House, author Louise Erdrich does not focus on the rapist, but on the victim, her family and on the narrator, her 13 year-old son Joe.
Set in the 1640’s on Martha’s Vineyard – called only “The Island” at that time – this is a work of fiction based on the real life story of Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk, a member of the Wopanaak tribe and the first Native American to graduate from Harvard University, a college originally intended to educate “the savages.” The story is told by Bethia, daughter of mi
Barbara Kingsolver wrote The Bean Trees during pregnant insomniac nights, inside a closet so she wouldn’t wake her sleeping husband. I know. When I was pregnant during sleepless nights I turned the AC on full blast and ate ice cream out of the container in bed while my husband tried to avoid hypothermia under three blankets and his parka.
On the Ohio Frontier during the American Revolution, Nonhelema – known to history as “The Grenadier Squaw” - and her brothers, Cornstalk and Silverheels– also Shawnee Chiefs – counsel peace and cooperation in dealing with the American troops sent to protect the Virginians pouring into Shawnee hunting grounds.
When Junior announces that he wants to attend the white school off the reservation he is not only ostracized, but tormented by his own people. As he dips one foot into the strange world of white people and keeps the other firmly planted on the reservation he feels torn between the better life he glimpses at his new school and the life he has always known.