Power of Horses and Other Stories

Power of Horses and Other Stories

by Elizabeth Cook-Lynn
     
 

These fifteen stories portray the culture of the Dakota of the Upper Plains. Though they are often short and pervaded with violence and grief, they are also filled with humor, gentleness, and charm. The characters emerge with their Dakota identity intact as they attempt to navigate between disparate societies. See more details below

Overview

These fifteen stories portray the culture of the Dakota of the Upper Plains. Though they are often short and pervaded with violence and grief, they are also filled with humor, gentleness, and charm. The characters emerge with their Dakota identity intact as they attempt to navigate between disparate societies.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Composed in a spare style that is more folkloric than minimalist, this slim but powerful first collection of 15 short stories by Cook-Lynn focuses on Native Americans in various periods of the 20th century. Dominated by dysfunctional families, economic hardship and sudden violence, her characters struggle to survive and also to maintain their dignity--in some cases, merely to ask why their tribal culture is one in which ``strange events were witnessed with inexplicable but characteristic tolerance.'' Whether writing of a young Vietnam veteran, of a family burying the violent head of its household or of a divorcee fighting for custody of her children, Cook-Lynn masterfully shows how Native Americans are caught in a double bind: trapped with white society in a relationship marked by a sense of betrayal and mistrust, and haunted by the symbolic forces of nature, with reservation lands generally seen as ``repositories of sacred worlds unknown to all but the most ancient tenants.'' The author is a member of the Crow Creek Sioux tribe in South Dakota, and is an associate professor of English and Native American Studies at East Washington University. (July)
Library Journal
The efforts of Native Americans to hold on to something of their ancient ways in the face of white opposition is the theme of Cook-Lynn's short stories. Many are only two or three pages long, capturing brief moments in her subjects' lives. The stories are usually set on reservations and frequently deal with people in crisis; two involve the death of a parent. The noteworthy title story appears in Paula Gunn Allen's Spider Woman's Granddaughters ( LJ 8/89). Cook-Lynn is indeed a worthy addition to the company of strong Native American women writing today. Recommended for women's studies and Native American collections.-- Debbie Tucker, Cincinnati Technical Coll., Ohio
School Library Journal
YA --This collection of short stories depicts native American reservation life in the twentieth century. Some of the stories read like folktales, as in the opening story in which an old woman walks with her grandchild as they experience the beauty of the sky. Other selections are contemporary stories of reservation life dealing with drinking, families, or relationships. These tales are realistic, often painful to read; they are sometimes humorous, but always poignant. This collection could be used to broaden one's sense of the native American culture when reading for pleasure or doing a research project. Those who enjoyed Michael Dorris' Yellow Raft in Blue Water (Holt, 1987) should also appreciate these short stories.-- Donna R. Deibel, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
From the Publisher
“With sympathetic characters and stylistic simplicity, Ms. Cook-Lynn reveals the endurance of a people subjected to centuries of ‘violent Diaspora and displacement.’ By turns humorous, poetic, and poignant The Power of Horses is a welcome addition to the growing body of Native American literature.” —The New York Times Book Review“Her briefest sketches in The Power of Horses, such as 'Mahpiyato' and 'Bennie,' demand to be read aloud. Enigmatic, poetic, they possess a true sense of spiritual mystery.” —The Los Angeles Times Book Review

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781559700504
Publisher:
Arcade Publishing
Publication date:
07/01/1990
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
160

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