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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
In Perma Red, Montana's Flathead Indian Reservation in the 1940s comes alive -- a virtual vortex of desire, magic, and danger. At its center is Louise White Elk, a young half-breed with fine bones and a tough spirit, treacherously flirting with love and trouble. Louise spends day and night teasing three very different men: Baptiste Yellow Knife, a full-blooded Indian and son of a snake handler, fluent in his native language and rituals, and possessed of a legendary bad temper and a taste for booze. Man No. 2 is Charlie Kicking Woman, a reservation cop torn between his duty to the white man's world and to his own; and the third is Harvey Stoner, a well-to-do out-of-towner who believes everything has a price. All three desperately want to own Louise, and for brief moments, she lets them. But when she pulls away, their desire, their egos, and their guilt drive them to commit acts of rage with consequences for which no one is prepared.
Native American Debra Magpie Earling's debut bears witness to her culture and brings a personal dimension to the consequences of ignoring or accepting traditional Indian ways in the modern world. In Perma Red, she casts a compassionate light on the fragile relationship between love and hate, as her characters learn the value of questioning the difference between intention and desire. (Summer 2002 Selection)