Winter in the Blood, A Review

James Welch’s Winter in the Blood is his first novel, written in 1974, after previously releasing a book of poetry titled, Riding the Earthboy 40. A Blackfeet/Gros Ventre/Irish man, Welch won several awards for his writing, including an Emmy for Last Stand at Little Bighorn, throughout his illustrious career as a writer. He died in 2003, leaving five novels, one non-fiction work, and three books of poetry.

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Grey Eyes, A Review

Frank C. Busch's debut novel Grey Eyes begins with the darkness of winter, but also with the hope of spring. An old man shuffles through snow to greet a newborn. This boy, born with magical powers signified by the color of his eyes, is the focal point of Grey Eyes. However, the old man, Painted Turtle Man, is just as much a part of the story. These two characters take turns guiding the story.

 

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Steve Dragswolf
Things Fall Apart, A Review

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (Igbo) follows the life of a warrior in the Umuofia village of Nigeria in Africa. Okonkwo, as the warrior is called, is a man’s man. He’s the warrior that all want to be. He is feared. He is strong. He is a leader. However, he has a temper and a searing drive to become chief clan leader of Umuofia.

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Steve Dragswolf
Indian Horse, A Review

Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese lays out a powerful story about childhood abuse in a Catholic boarding school and the trauma of racism in the life of many American Indians. The story follows Saul Indian Horse as he goes from the bush as a child to the confines of a boarding school. There at the boarding school, what you expect to happen happened. However, despite the allusions to sexual abuse and the outright descriptions of physical abuse, Saul found his way out of the mental anguish the school wrought on him by turning to the game of hockey.

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Steve Dragswolf
The Round House, A Review

In Louise Erdrich’s The Round House, this beginning line poignantly introduces the unraveling of a family by one evil act that was compounded by years of judicial abuse by the United States government. The Round House follows a thirteen year-old boy named Joe Coutts, the son of a mom who is a tribal records-keeper and a father who is a tribal judge. Joe attempts to juggle adolescence with the vicious sexual attack that scarred his mother physically and emotionally. Erdrich writes such visceral descriptions throughout The Round House that immediately draws the reader into the pain the family experiences.

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ReviewSteve Dragswolf
Flight, A Review

Sherman Alexie’s Flight is a novel concerned with experience and history. The story is concerned with stepping in the shoes of others. The proverbial walking in another’s moccassins. Alexie doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities that history holds for Indians. He doesn’t justify the actions of evil men even if he humanizes them in the process of telling his story.

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The Painted Drum, A Review of Sorts

I've often wondered how things interconnect within this life we live.

Everyone knows it's a small world and that's a frequent saying when someone runs into another person they haven't seen in a while or discover some previously hidden connection between themselves. I've had many people I've come across in my life that have some sort of connection and story of a time they spent in Albuquerque during the time I was growing up in the city.

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Steve Dragswolf