The Death of Jim Loney

The Death of Jim Loney

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by James Welch
     
 

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James Welch never shied away from depicting the lives of Native Americans damned by destiny and temperament to the margins of society. The Death of Jim Loney is no exception. Jim Loney is a mixed-blood, of white and Indian parentage. Estranged from both communities, he lives a solitary, brooding existence in a small Montana town. His nights are filled with

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Overview

James Welch never shied away from depicting the lives of Native Americans damned by destiny and temperament to the margins of society. The Death of Jim Loney is no exception. Jim Loney is a mixed-blood, of white and Indian parentage. Estranged from both communities, he lives a solitary, brooding existence in a small Montana town. His nights are filled with disturbing dreams that haunt his waking hours. Rhea, his lover, cannot console him; Kate, his sister, cannot penetrate his world. In sparse, moving prose, Welch has crafted a riveting tale of disenfranchisement and self-destruction.

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Editorial Reviews

Ivan Doig
An undying story told with the austerity of Camus's The Stranger, of a wounded soul seeking to become whole.
William Kittredge
The Death of Jim Loney is an American classic.
From the Publisher
"An undying story told with the austerity of Camus's The Stranger, of a wounded soul seeking to become whole."
-Ivan Doig

"The Death of Jim Loney is an American classic."
-William Kittredge

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060145880
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/01/1979
Pages:
179

What People are saying about this

William Kittredge
The Death of Jim Loney is an American classic.
Ivan Doig
An undying story told with the austerity of Camus's The Stranger, of a wounded soul seeking to become whole.
From the Publisher
"An undying story told with the austerity of Camus's The Stranger, of a wounded soul seeking to become whole."
-Ivan Doig

"The Death of Jim Loney is an American classic."
-William Kittredge

Meet the Author

James Welch is the author of the novels Winter in the Blood, Fools Crow, for which he received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an American Book Award, and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, The Indian Lawyer, The Death of Jim Lonely, and most recently, Killing Custer: The Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Fate of the Plains Indians. He attended schools on the Blackfeet and Fort Belknap reservations in Montana, and he graduated from the University of Montana, where he studied writing with the late Richard Hugo. Until recently, he served on the Montana State Board of Pardons. He lives in Missoula with his wife, Lois.

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The Death of Jim Loney 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Or perhaps a usual madness not usually understood. This is a beautiful novel. Contemporary Native American literature has often been concerned with the half-breed anti-hero, caught between cultures, present in neither, tied to both. Jim Loney's search for meaning in a present perpetually afflicted by his sense of a lost past is metaphorical in its significance and deeply personal in its portrayal. Loney's life, struggle, and death are never simply pure allegory; he is a character one grows to care about for his aching humanness. But there is an undeniable parallel to the history of Indian peoples in this country and to how this history continues to impact the lives of individuals. Welch makes Loney seep inside, allowing the reader, as far as possible, to feel this disjunction from within. I highly recommend this book to readers who have overdosed on the existentialist heirs, the novelists who have a lot to say about what it is to be alone, but very little about what might have been lost. This sense of flattened perspective echoes repeatedly themes of solitude and humanity's fruitless search for meaning. Welch adds a history and a community, a way of life, and a particular man in the world to this mix. While the abstraction of 'man alone in the world' runs rings around itself, Loney walks slowly forward towards a fate laid out for him by history and circumstance. But there's no morbid determinism, which would allow us to classify Welch and his character within a purely literary tradition. It isn't the universe that has dictated Loney's isolation. It is the lost connection to this universe that separates him from hope and possibility. Any depressed person would know the feeling, drawing a psychological blank. But this isn't simply depression, nor a simple story. With all these layers, it's amazing how Welch makes it seem so.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago