Perma Red

Perma Red

4.6 6
by Debra Magpie Earling
     
 

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On the reservation, danger looms everywhere, rising out of fear and anger, deprivation and poverty. Fiery-haired Louise White Elk dreams of both belonging and escape, and of discovering love and freedom on her own terms. But she is a beautiful temptation for three men-each more dangerous than the next-who will do anything to possess her...See more details below

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Overview

On the reservation, danger looms everywhere, rising out of fear and anger, deprivation and poverty. Fiery-haired Louise White Elk dreams of both belonging and escape, and of discovering love and freedom on her own terms. But she is a beautiful temptation for three men-each more dangerous than the next-who will do anything to possess her...

Editorial Reviews

Sherman Alexie
This book was great in all its pieces. In totality,it's epic.
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Earling follows the literary trail blazed by Louise Erdrich in her poignant if familiar debut novel, which explores life in the tiny town of Perma, Mont., through the adventures of the restless Louise White elk as she struggles with a problematic passion for irresistible bad boy Baptiste Yellow Knife. The tempestuous duo's love-hate relationship is complicated by Charlie Kicking Woman, the local police officer who admires Louise from afar even as she breaks up his marriage. The other romantic subplots are less captivating - Louise's affair with the reservation's white real estate mogul, Harvey Stoner, is contrived and stilted, and Baptiste's attempts to arouse Louise's jealousy are even more forgettable. Narrated alternately by Louise, Baptiste and Charlie, the plot veers between hallucinatory, poetic descriptions of reservation life and tumultuous romantic encounters as Louise and Baptiste conduct their erotic duel, until the passions finally give way to murder. When Harvey decides to attack Baptiste, Louise and Charlie are left to make their own pivotal choices. earling offers first-rate characterizations, and she does an equally fine job portraying tribal life in the Flatland Nation. The predictable and disorganized plot makes this book less memorable than it might have been, but there's little doubt that earling has considerable potential. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
KLIATT
Debra Magpie Earling is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and her understanding of the world and the characters in this first novel runs blood-deep. Like other American authors, for instance Faulkner and Dorothy Allison, who write of unique geographical cultures they grew up in, Earling captures a sense of place and time from inside her world, drawing the reader to its center. Her descriptions of the West are of more than the physical place, but also of the mystical, cultural and traditional worlds that make up who Louise White Elk is. Louise, a young girl growing up in the 1940s in Montana, lives in the small universe of her grandmother and her younger sister. As she grows older, Louise seeks love and three men compete in their own way to give it to her. Nothing is easy for Louise and only her strong will enables her to survive the poverty, depravity and tragedy that seem to dog her every step. On the outside, Louise is damaged goods, but Earling takes the reader way beyond the surface to the core of her being and her world. KLIATT Codes: SA�Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2002, Berkley, 308p.,
— Nola Theiss
Library Journal - Library Journal
In this beautiful first novel, set on the Flathead Reservation of Montana in the 1940s, Earling traces the youth and young adulthood of Louise White Elk and the men who try to win her heart and soul. A red-headed, mixed-blood temptress, Louise always has a man or two, none of whom is any good for her. Throughout, a third-person narrative alternates with a first-person account by Charlie Kicking Woman, the police officer who tracked down Louise when she ran away repeatedly as a child but whose interest in the woman is less than professional. Louise is also entangled with Baptiste Yellow Knife, who adheres to the old ways and resists all contact with whites and authorities. The abject poverty is keenly felt, as is the pride that allows one to prevail and the resignation that keeps one from aspiring to more. This novel will stand proudly among its peers in Native American literature and should have strong appeal to fans of Louise Erdrich. Debbie Bogenschutz, Cincinnati State Technical & Community Coll. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425190548
Publisher:
Blue Hen Trade
Publication date:
06/03/2003
Edition description:
First Blue Hen Paperback Edition
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.18(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.87(d)

What People are saying about this

Sherman Alexie
This book was great in all its pieces. In totality, it's epic.
Larry Brown
Earling reminds us again that the greatest writing is always about matters of the human heart.
Louise Edrich
It is my pleasure to welcome Debra Magpie Earling's boldly drawn and passionate novel, Perma Red.

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