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Ghost Dancing

Overview

Story by Graceful Story, Ghost Dancing reveals the evolving worlds of Jimmy One Rock and his wife, Mary. These tales link past and present - in Oklahoma and on a reservation in the Pacific Northwest - through memory, myth, ceremony, and a sly humor. These stories evoke both the pain and the desire of the Ghost Dance, a ritual once performed to restore the world. Ghost Dancing links together stories within stories, each of which contains the elements of pathos and humor. On a wild ride, from a dance with the Old ...
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Ghost Dancing

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Overview

Story by Graceful Story, Ghost Dancing reveals the evolving worlds of Jimmy One Rock and his wife, Mary. These tales link past and present - in Oklahoma and on a reservation in the Pacific Northwest - through memory, myth, ceremony, and a sly humor. These stories evoke both the pain and the desire of the Ghost Dance, a ritual once performed to restore the world. Ghost Dancing links together stories within stories, each of which contains the elements of pathos and humor. On a wild ride, from a dance with the Old Ones under an ancient black oak to the ceremonial burial of a '47 Nash to a strangely healing, feather-flying canine spirit curse, each tale crafts an emotional arc through Jimmy and Mary's marriage, and eventually takes us to a place that might be called home.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Linzer draws upon her experience living on the Suquamish Indian Reservation in Washington State for her heartfelt, informative but rather pallid first collection. These 11 interconnected stories concern Jimmy One Rock, a Lenape or Delaware Indian, and shift back and forth between Washington, where he now lives, and his childhood spent in Oklahoma--to which the Delaware were removed from the Northeast more than a century ago. The pieces reflect Jimmy's journey of self-discovery as he learns about his people, his identity and the harsh reality of being a Native American in the contemporary U.S. The impact of Christianity upon Native cultures also figures centrally. Although Linzer captures certain aspects of modern Native life and history, her account lacks nuance, relying instead on sentimental regret and hackneyed images of loss, alcoholism, suffering and death. Compared to her eye for the surface details of reservation life, Linzer's grasp of the heart is tentative and inexact. Author tour; U.K. translation and dramatic rights to Sobel Weber. Oct.
Library Journal
The setting for Linzer's powerful first book alternates between the Pacific Northwest and Oklahoma, seemingly dissimilar locales linked by the stories and experiences of the protagonist and his Native American kin. Jimmy One Rock spent his childhood on an Oklahoma reservation, and he visits Washington State because it is his wife Mary's home. The issue of "home" is also complicated by the omnipresent fact that as a Lenape, Jimmy belongs to a tribe driven out of the Northeast by whites long ago. The stories comprising this collection make a strong impact when taken individually, yet are closely enough linked to function together somewhat like a short novel. Spirits, kinship, legends, and ceremonies repeat as elements, unifying the works. Linzer's prowess arises from her ability to convey the authenticity of Jimmy's economic deprivation as well as his spiritual wealth with honesty and humor. Recommended for all libraries.--Faye A. Chadwell, Univ. of Oregon Libs., Eugene
From the Publisher
"Linzer illustrates cultural pain through art and careful detail."—San Diego Union-Tribune

"[A] powerful first book . . . Linzer's prowess arises from her ability to convey the authenticity of Jimmy's economic deprivation as well as his spiritual wealth with honesty and humor."—Library Journal

"Drum tight with spare, imagistic prose, these stories are tough, touching, and humorous . . . Anna Linzer's fine stories call to mind the early works of Leslie Silko and Sherman Alexie."--Craig Lesley, author of The Sky Fisherman

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312204105
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 10/1/1999
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Anna Linzer lives on the Suquamish Indian Reservation in Indianola, Washington. Her stories have been published in Kenyon Review, Carolina Quarterly, the anthology Storytellers, and elsewhere. This her first book.

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Table of Contents

Ghost Dancing 1
The Burial Mound 11
The Hunt 39
Wild Indian Dogs 47
Sun Offering 67
The Indian Rubber Boots 79
Missionaries and Soldiers 97
Spirit Curse 123
Indian Education 135
Crashed-Up Cars 157
Where the Road Leads 173
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