Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer: A Story of Survival / Edition 1by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke
Pub. Date: 05/28/2004
Publisher: UNP - Nebraska
"A name creates life patterns," Allison Adelle Hedge Coke writes, "which form and shape a life; my life, like my name, must have been formed many times over then handed to me to realize." Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer is Hedge Coke's narrative of that realization, the award-winning poet and writer's searching account of her life as a mixed-blood woman coming of age… See more details below
"A name creates life patterns," Allison Adelle Hedge Coke writes, "which form and shape a life; my life, like my name, must have been formed many times over then handed to me to realize." Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer is Hedge Coke's narrative of that realization, the award-winning poet and writer's searching account of her life as a mixed-blood woman coming of age off-reservation, yet deeply immersed in her Cherokee and Huron heritage. In a style at once elliptical and achingly clear, Hedge Coke describes her schizophrenic mother and the abuse that often overshadowed her childhood; the torments visited upon her, the rape and physical violence; and those she inflicted on herself, the alcohol and drug abuse. Yet she managed to survive with her dreams and her will, her sense of wonder and promise undiminished.
The title Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer refers to the life-revelations that brought Hedge Coke through her trials, the melding of language and experience that has brought order to her life. In this book, Hedge Coke shares the insights she has gathered along the way, insights that touch on broader Native issues such as modern life in the diaspora; the threat of alcohol, drug abuse, and violence; and the ongoing onslaught on self amid a complex, mixed heritage.
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke is the author of Dog Road Woman: Poems, winner of the American Book Award. She is the coeditor of Voices of Thunder and It's Not Quiet Anymore.
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This is an amazing story. I won't lie, there are some horrible things in this book. Not everything will be pleasant. The most amazing this is not only did Hedge Coke survive these horrors, but she preserved her ability to laugh and revel in the beauty of the world. The writing is sometimes poetic, and sometimes plainly bold in setting forth terrible things that happened without flinching or becoming maudlin. Simply put, they happened she she survived. The book is an emotional and beautiful story. Just be prepared, the writing is enjoyable...but not everything is easy to read about.