Little

Little

by David Treuer
     
 

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Mining the layers of family secrets that have built up over three generations on a reservation town called Poverty, members of the tiny community tell their own stories, leading finally to the heart of the mystery that surrounds an eight-year-old boy named Little.

Overview

Mining the layers of family secrets that have built up over three generations on a reservation town called Poverty, members of the tiny community tell their own stories, leading finally to the heart of the mystery that surrounds an eight-year-old boy named Little.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
At once bleak and lushly lyrical, this ambitious first novel by an Ojibwe writer probes the lives of the residents of a Minnesota reservation they call, with weary sardonicism, Poverty. A priest has died, drowned, it seems, in the baptismal font, but the truth turns out to be darker and more vengeful, an emblem of the unhappy collision of white and Indian cultures. Yet the resolution of this mystery is subordinate to the unfolding of lyrical and elegiac set pieces that illuminate the lives of Duke and Ellis, twins whose coming of age is comprised of acts of great compassion and of matter-of-fact brutality; of Jeanette, sliding into embittered middle age; and of Little, the doomed child whose one word of speech-``You''-can both embrace and accuse. Treuer, who himself lives on a reservation in Minnesota, moves awkwardly from one character to another; his greater gift is a poetic clarity of observation, in which even the bloody death of a deer can be a thing of austere beauty. Author tour. (Oct.)
Library Journal
An empty coffin is lowered into a grave behind a half-abandoned housing project called Poverty on an Indian reservation in northern Minnesota. The burial ceremony is for an enigmatic eight-year-old boy named Little, whose entire vocabulary consists of the word you. First novelist Treuer reconstructs Little's biography by allowing Poverty's inhabitants to tell their own life stories in a mosaic of first-person narratives. In the process, we learn the history of Poverty itself, from the turn of the century to the present. Land that was once virgin pine forest has been ruthlessly logged and tilled until it is now a barren, windswept waste, littered with the skeletons of rusting farm machinery. The town's population has been similarly devastated by poverty, alcoholism, and the Vietnam War. Treuer's portrait of a downtrodden people unfolds in slow, carefully measured prose, packed with descriptive detail. An ambitious first novel about America's rural poor; recommended for all larger fiction collections.-Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312151645
Publisher:
Picador
Publication date:
11/15/1996
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.47(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.62(d)

Meet the Author

David Treuer is Ojibwe. He grew up at Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota, where he now lives. He is a graduate of Princeton University.

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