Neither Wolf nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder [NOOK Book]

Overview

Acclaimed author Kent Nerburn creates an incisive character study of a Native American elder, against the unflinching backdrop of contemporary reservation life and the majestic spaces of the western Dakotas. Nerburn draws us deep into the world of this elder, identified only as Dan, as we journey to where the vast Dakota skies overtake us and the whisperings of the wind speak of ancestral voices.

As this spellbinding story unfolds, Dan speaks ...
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Neither Wolf nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder

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Overview

Acclaimed author Kent Nerburn creates an incisive character study of a Native American elder, against the unflinching backdrop of contemporary reservation life and the majestic spaces of the western Dakotas. Nerburn draws us deep into the world of this elder, identified only as Dan, as we journey to where the vast Dakota skies overtake us and the whisperings of the wind speak of ancestral voices.

As this spellbinding story unfolds, Dan speaks eloquently on the power of silence, the difference between land and property, white people's urge to claim an Indian heritage, and the selling of sacred ceremonies. This is a story of fathers and sons, of the struggle for redemption after the loss of innocence, of distinct cultures on a common land.

The author of the acclaimed Letters To My Son presents a journey into the heart of Native American experience. In the tradition of Black Elk Speaks, this book records the thoughts and observations of Dan, an old Chippewa man. Dan speaks eloquently on the difference between land and property, the power of silence, and more.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Non-Indian theologian and editor Nerburn attempts to "bridge the gap between the world into which I had been born and the world of a people I had grown to know and love" by narrating the fascinating toils and truths of Dan, a 78-year-old Lakota man.
Kevin Roddy
Readers looking for another red-man-departs-wise-words-to-white-man-to-lessen-white- man's-guilt will be disappointed by the tone and content of this work. Realists wanting a truthful, fiery, and, ultimately, cleansing dialogue between Indian and white will definitely want it. Nerburn reluctantly agrees to a meeting with Dan, a Lakota elder who asks him to construct a book from a motley collection of notes, diatribes, and political and social commentaries written over seven decades and kept in an old shoe box. Void of the hypocrisy rampant in many books that have whites adopting the ways of "the great spirit," Nerburn exposes the real truth, which whites are unwilling to face: that in "the hunger to own a piece of the earth, we had destroyed the dreams and families of an entire race." Joined by a dog named Fatback, Dan gives Nerburn the ride of his life as they cross the vast Midwest in Dan's Buick. Along the way, Dan alternates between rage and melancholy, and Nerburn between shame and confusion. Nerburn unintentionally touches nerve after nerve and elicits an almost unbearable flood of anguish and despair. The truth revealed in this book will be difficult for most whites to face, but it is painfully necessary if healing is ever to begin.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781577318866
  • Publisher: New World Library
  • Publication date: 9/7/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 57,156
  • File size: 595 KB

Meet the Author

Kent Nerburn is an author, sculptor, and educator who has been deeply involved in Native American issues and education. He developed and directed an award-winning oral history project on the Red Lake Ojibwe reservation in northern Minnesota. In addition to being a program evaluator for the Minnesota Humanities Commission and serving on their selection board, he has served as a consultant in curriculum development for the American Indian Institute in Norman, Oklahoma, and has been a presenter before various groups, including the National Indian Education Association and the President’s blue-ribbon panel on Indian Education.

Nerburn has edited three highly acclaimed books on Native American subjects: Native American Wisdom, The Wisdom of the Native Americans, and The Soul of an Indian. Nerburn is also the author of Letters to My Son; Neither Wolf Nor Dog, winner of the Minnesota Book Award for 1995; The Wolf at Twilight; Simple Truths: Clear and Gentle Guidance on the Big Issues of Life; Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life; and Ordinary Sacred: The Simple Beauty of Everyday Life.

Kent Nerburn holds a PhD in both Theology and Art and lives with his family in northern Minnesota.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

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(14)

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(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 2, 2012

    A must read for those interested in American Indian history

    I read <i>The Wolf at Twilight</i> first and am sorry I did. The books should be read in the order in which they were written. However, <i>Neither Wolf Nor Dog</i> stands alone as a great account of Dan's experiences and the literal torture that the Red Man has had to endure. Mr. Nerburn was afraid that he wouldn't "get the story right," but he does. I enjoyed this book so much that I bought the Chief Joseph book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2011

    Amazing!

    A must read by all! I will pass this book on several times!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2013

    Nerburn nailed it. A beautiful book.

    I love this book because Nerburn nails the attitudes and ignorance that some white people have that we Lakota are subjected to every summer and everytime a new documentary or movie about one of our reservations comes out.
    What is great about this book is that Nerburn is honest in his writing about his own clumbsiness and ignorance but in a humorous and gentle way without being self-depricating as he slowly comes to important self and cultural realizations.
    I really liked the book, as a Lakota who has seen first hand some of the behaviors,language,cultural innapropriateness he discusses; it provided me with many a laugh,(on his behalf) and in the end I had more compassion for white ignorance. In the end, he grows as a human and thats incredible to witness.
    I'm a Nerburn fan now and strongly recommend this book and the follow up the wolf at twilight. Read it for the cultural awareness message but then apply what you learned to your own life, where ever you are.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2012

    read this it's worth the time

    some really good points made in this book. stop, listen, think

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2012

    Brilliant and insightful

    I happened upon this book at a Native American Pow Wow with no previous exposure to the author or his works. Being an enthusiast for stories both fiction and non-fiction on the cuture I took a chance and picked it up. Whether you are interested in Native American culture or not, reading this book will give you the opportunity to consider alternative perspectives on life. Kent Nerburn draws you in with an engaging and compeling story telling style that I greatly admire. This book propelled me to become a fan and reader of additional Nerburn books. I highly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2006

    Great Book~

    This book was amazing! I had to read for a high school class and the philosophy and ideas in it just blew me away. Yes, Dan had a lot of problems himself and he wasn't perfect, but I felt that it just added to the validity of what he was saying. In particular, the idea that leaders are not leaders because they are elected really interested me leaders are naturally made and therefore elections are not valid indications of a person's ability. I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the Native American way of life and just philosophy in general!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2003

    extremely thought provoking

    poses some extremely thought provoking ideas, many of which i thought made more sense than i could imagine, however i think it maybe sort of a contradiction..dan trusts few white people, obviously does not like them too much but however, is allowing Nerburn and white publishing companies to profit from his stories? i don't know maybe there's something else behind that that i don't know. BUT other than that, i thought the book was amazing and i think everyone in the US should read it if they know what's good for them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2014

    Everyone should read this book

    I have read this book several times since it's release.
    I have bought and given out many copies to friends.
    It is an eye opening look into a world that is not often seen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2014

    Guy

    :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    Recommend with reservation

    Interesting from a historical point of view.
    I felt the Native American was a very angry person about his life
    He did not relay any positive thoughts about his life onto the reader.
    Many times he would twist the white mans life around to say we were trying to act like the Native American, such as by wearing their type of jewelry.
    I feel the Indian Elder was a whiner.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 28, 2008

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    Posted June 1, 2011

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    Posted December 15, 2014

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    Posted May 3, 2010

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    Posted October 29, 2013

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    Posted July 21, 2011

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    Posted January 1, 2014

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    Posted July 17, 2012

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    Posted September 10, 2011

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    Posted August 5, 2012

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