In telling a story of the fictional A'atsika, a Native people of the American West Coast who find their mythical origins in the whale and the octopus, Hogan (Mean Spirit) employs just the right touch of spiritualism in this engrossing tale. When Thomas Witka Just succumbs to peer pressure and joins the army, then is sent to Vietnam, Ruth Small is pregnant with his child. In an attempt to prevent an atrocity, Thomas kills fellow soldiers and deserts, ultimately blending into the Vietnamese culture and fathering a child, Lin, by Ma, a village girl. In the meantime, Ruth gives birth to their son, Marco Polo, who is said to have the same mystical whaling powers of Thomas's grandfather. Years later, following Thomas's return, Dwight, a ne'er-do-well friend of Thomas's, arranges for the tribe to kill a whale and to sell the meat to the Japanese, a plan that will draw in Marco Polo and set up a confrontation between the whole ensemble. Despite the plot's multiple strands, the story flows smoothly, and Hogan comes up with a powerful, romantic crescendo. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
People of the Whale: A Novelby Linda K. Hogan
Raised in a remote seaside village, Thomas Witka Just marries Ruth, his beloved since infancy. But an ill-fated decision to fight in Vietnam changes his life forever: cut off from his Native American community, he fathers a child with another woman. When he
A powerful story of a Vietnam veteran torn between his war experience and his Native American community.
Raised in a remote seaside village, Thomas Witka Just marries Ruth, his beloved since infancy. But an ill-fated decision to fight in Vietnam changes his life forever: cut off from his Native American community, he fathers a child with another woman. When he returns home a hero, he finds his tribe in conflict over the decision to hunt a whale, both a symbol of spirituality and rebirth and a means of survival. In the end, he reconciles his two existences, only to see tragedy befall the son he left behind.Linda Hogan, called our most provocative Native American writer, with "her unparalleled gifts for truth and magic" (Barbara Kingsolver), has written a compassionate novel about the beauty of the natural world and the painful moral choices humans make in it. With a keen sense of the environment, spirituality, and the trauma of war, People of the Whale is a powerful novel for our times.
In this latest novel from American Book Award® winner and Pulitzer® Prize finalist Hogan (Mean Spirit), a young man returns to his seaside Native American village after the Vietnam War to find his tribe in conflict over the decision to hunt a whale. Hogan's combination of mythic and realistic elements results in a spiritual listening experience, while Audie® Award-winning narrator Stefan Rudnicki's perfectly paced and sonorous diction adds just the right weight. Recommended for public libraries with a demand for Hogan's earlier works. [Audio clip available through
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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Meet the Author
Linda Hogan was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for her novel Mean Spirit. Her other honors include an American Book Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in Tishomingo, Oklahoma.
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