Extra Indians

Overview

Every winter, Tommy Jack McMorsey watches the meteor showers in northern Minnesota. On the long haul from Texas to Minnesota, Tommy encounters a deluded Japanese tourist determined to find the buried ransom money from the movie Fargo. When the Japanese tourist dies of exposure in Tommy Jack’s care, a media storm erupts and sets off a series of journeys into Tommy Jack’s past as he remembers the horrors of Vietnam, a love affair, and the suicide of his closest friend, Fred Howkowski. Exploring with great insight ...

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Extra Indians

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Overview

Every winter, Tommy Jack McMorsey watches the meteor showers in northern Minnesota. On the long haul from Texas to Minnesota, Tommy encounters a deluded Japanese tourist determined to find the buried ransom money from the movie Fargo. When the Japanese tourist dies of exposure in Tommy Jack’s care, a media storm erupts and sets off a series of journeys into Tommy Jack’s past as he remembers the horrors of Vietnam, a love affair, and the suicide of his closest friend, Fred Howkowski. Exploring with great insight and wit the ways images, stereotypes, and depictions intersect with, Extra Indians offers a powerful glimpse into contemporary Native American life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Gansworth's exemplary fourth novel begins in the arresting voice of long-haul trucker Tommy Jack McMorsey, a Vietnam vet with a lot on his mind and a dead woman outside his rig, face up in the snow. His tangential involvement in the woman's death lands him in the media spotlight, which in turns forces him to answer some uncomfortable questions about his past. Meanwhile, Annie Boans, a young scholar who traces Tommy Jack's history to the reservation of her birth, has a few questions of her own, and sets off to demand answers in person. Tommy Jack's chapters are filled with lyrical meditations on friendship, war, and love, with most of the novel's business being conducted in Boan's sections. Though some late book-plot bloat slows the momentum, Gansworth delivers a messy and satisfying resolution once Tommy Jack and Annie finally meet. Longtime readers of Gansworth will recognize some characters from his previous work (Mending Skins; etc.), but the discoveries in this novel will delight new readers even more. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"Exemplary. Gansworth delivers a messy and satisfying resolution. Longtime readers of Gansworth will recognize some characters from his previous work (Mending Skins; etc.), but the discoveries in this novel will delight new readers even more." —Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

"Gansworth will surely garner comparisons to Sherman Alexie for his wry wit and compassionate voice, but his ability to dissect multiple hearts in a single pierce, his precise reconstruction of each lost soul into something new and pure, sets him apart. This is familial redemption at its finest, which is to say agonizingly complex and wholly engaging." —Booklist

"Gansworth has given us a beautiful story of the intersection of truth and fiction, family and forgiveness, and the inability to forgive. A powerful story; highly recommended for readers of popular fiction." —Library Journal

"In exploring who his characters believe they are versus who they may really be, Eric Gansworth says as much about the constitution of family and America as he does about the construction of identity and the world. Spanning the war in Vietnam, life on the rez, and the Coen Brothers' Fargo, Extra Indians is both rollicking and tenderhearted. —Stewart O'Nan, author of Last Night at the Lobster and Songs for the Missing

"Gansworth's look at youthful folly and the damage that violence begets is fully drawn and beautifully written, almost ballad-like with its rueful tone." —Minneapolis Star Tribune

"What seemingly begins as a road trip novel detours into a mysterious death and then comes around into a big-hearted novel about reservation life, the resonance of war even thirty years later, and the inescapability of one’s past." —Time Out Chicago

"A literary novel carrying themes that possess more true-to-life tangible strength than verifiable facts. By layering truth and fiction, Gansworth complicates the two, dislocating us along with his characters." —Philadelphia City Paper

"With an exacting eye for images and ear for language, novelist Eric Gansworth has constructed a rich tapestry of interwoven narratives that speak to the contemporary Native American experience, both on and off the reservation." —Buffalo News

Library Journal
Gansworth (Mending Skins) has given us a beautiful story of the intersection of truth and fiction, family and forgiveness, and the inability to forgive. Truck driver Tommy Jack usually stays within the confines of Texas, but each winter he schedules a longer trip to watch the meteor showers. On one trip, he picks up a Japanese tourist looking for the buried treasure from the movie Fargo. When she dies of exposure at his rented cabin, Tommy Jack gets national media attention—and the attention of his long-estranged adopted son and a young woman who may be his daughter. Tommy Jack's life took its first detour in Vietnam, where he became best friends with Fred Howkowski, an American Indian from upstate New York. When the two returned stateside safely, Fred signed his young son over to Tommy Jack while he pursued a career in the movies that led to disillusionment, depression, and eventually suicide. Now, in this grippingly told work, Fred's ghost and many others are coming back to haunt Tommy Jack. VERDICT A powerful story; highly recommended for readers of popular fiction.—Debbie Bogenschutz, Cincinnati State Technical & Community Coll. Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571310798
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions
  • Publication date: 11/1/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,423,183
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: Coming Attractions 5

Tommy Jack McMorsey 7

Act 1 Lights 11

Chapter 1 Fall Out 15

Tommy Jack McMorsey 17

Chapter 2 Signal Fade 43

Annie Boans 47

Chapter 3 Bit Part 67

Tommy Jack McMorsey 71

Act 2 Camera 105

Chapter 4 Sound Track 109

Annie Boans 111

Chapter 5 Live Feed 125

Tommy Jack McMorsey 127

Chapter 6 Broad Cast 149

Annie Boans 153

Act 3 Action 189

Chapter 7 Call Back 193

Tommy Jack McMorsey 197

Chapter 8 Voice Over 229

Annie Boans 235

Chapter 9 Head Shot 261

Tommy Jack McMorsey 267

Epilogue Credits Roll 303

Tommy Jack McMorsey 309

Author's Note 313

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