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Bone Game: A Novel

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In Bone Game, Louis Owens's compelling new novel, dreams and waking life, past and present, ghosts and living people echo each other and lock in conflict. From the moment we read that a Spanish priest was murdered in 1812 and that the dismembered pieces of a young woman are beginning to wash ashore in 1993 - both in Santa Cruz - we know that something is profoundly wrong in the too-beautiful California town. Cole McCurtain is at Bone Game's uneasy, dreaming center. Now a mixed-blood professor of Indian Studies at...
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1996 Paperback ***An EXCELLENT Brand new book at a sensible price. New, unread, unused, & in perfect condition. Value for the price. We ship within 24 hours. We sell books from ... New to Acceptable. We take care to be accurate in our description. Most of our books were gently read and in fine condition. BNCTucsonbooks ships daily. Proceeds from the sales of books support an endowed scholarship to Brandeis University, Waltham Mass. Read more Show Less

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Overview

In Bone Game, Louis Owens's compelling new novel, dreams and waking life, past and present, ghosts and living people echo each other and lock in conflict. From the moment we read that a Spanish priest was murdered in 1812 and that the dismembered pieces of a young woman are beginning to wash ashore in 1993 - both in Santa Cruz - we know that something is profoundly wrong in the too-beautiful California town. Cole McCurtain is at Bone Game's uneasy, dreaming center. Now a mixed-blood professor of Indian Studies at Santa Cruz, Cole is haunted by dreams of the murdered priest, a rearing grizzly bear, a black-and-white painted Indian who offers bones in his extended hands. In his waking life Cole moves through scenes equally discordant and sinister. Surrounded by decadent students, an overly earnest teaching assistant, and a cross-dressing, wisecracking Indian colleague, he longs to be back in New Mexico, fly-fishing. Help comes from Indian country when his beloved daughter Abby appears at his doorstep. Even so, the dreams become increasingly urgent and the murders ever more frequent. Added support is mobilized. Choctaw oldtimers - Cole's father, Hoey, his great-uncle, Luther, and an old medicine woman, Onatima - travel west from Mississippi, becoming entangled in further stories along the way. They know they are needed; as Luther says, "This story's so big, Cole sees only a little bit of it."
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Owens, who teaches English at the University of New Mexico, takes a second turn at fiction in this sequel to The Sharpest Sight, a tense blend of fantasy and mystery centering on American Indian lore. Relying on his own Choctaw heritage, the author tells the story of Cole McCurtain, whose life is coming apart at the seams. Cole no longer enjoys teaching American Indian Studies at UC-Santa Cruz. He drinks a lot, eats little and sorely misses his daughter, who's living with his divorced wife (to whom he owes substantial alimony). To top it off, he can't sleep because his dreams are haunted by images of a mysterious, malevolent Indian gambler. Matters turn dramatically worse when someone starts murdering female students. Are the killings somehow related to Cole's nightmares? To his dismay, it appears that it is his destiny to face the gambler and to solve the slayings. At first he is aided by his only friend at Santa Cruz, a transvestite Navajo. But soon Cole's daughter arrives, then his Choctaw family, and together they confront a centuries-old evil force that was unleashed by Spanish missionaries' cruel treatment of Native Americans. Owens expertly mixes genres and blends in generous amounts of Native American history. To his credit, he also leavens his grim but gripping tale with substantial humor. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Cole McCurtain, of Choctaw-Cherokee-Irish descent, is a professor of English at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Lately he's been dreaming of events that happened when the Spanish settled in Santa Cruz way back when. In the dreams, he plays the part of both the sadistic Spanish priest and his tortured Indian victim. At the same time, coeds are disappearing from campus, their headless bodies washing up on the shore. Other bodies are also found, unmutilated and dead of a single gun shot. Cole is finding bear tracks in his yard. Could all these events be related? Cole's father, Uncle Luther, and friend Onatima, whom readers may remember from The Sharpest Sight (LJ 1/92), come to help Cole sort it all out. Novelist/critic Owens (Other Destinies: Understanding the American Indian Novel, LJ 11/15/92) provides a great cast of characters and a fascinating plot that make this a recommended book for general readers.-Debbie Bogenschutz, Cincinnati Technical Coll.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806128412
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1996
  • Series: American Indian Literature Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Louis Owens, who is of Choctaw-Cherokee-Irish descent, is Professor of English at the University of New Mexico. He is the author of several books, including Other Destinies: Understanding the American Indian Novel and the novels The Sharpest Sight and Bone Game, all published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

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Table of Contents

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