The Night Birds

The Night Birds

by Thomas Maltman
4.1 8

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The Night Birds by Thomas Maltman

The intertwining story of three generations of German immigrants to the Midwest—their clashes with slaveholders, the Dakota uprising and its aftermath—is seen through the eyes of young Asa Senger, named for an uncle killed by an Indian friend. It is the unexpected appearance of Asa’s aunt Hazel, institutionalized since shortly after the mass hangings of thirty-eight Dakota warriors in Mankato in 1862, that reveals to him that the past is as close as his own heartbeat. 

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781569477687
Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 08/01/2007
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 453,768
File size: 964 KB

About the Author

Thomas Maltman's essays, poetry, and fiction have been published in many literary journals. He has an MFA from Minnesota State University, Mankato and he lives in the Twin Cities. His first novel, The Night Birds, won several national awards, including an Alex Award, a Spur Award, and the Friends of American Writers Literary Award. In 2009 the American Library Association chose The Night Birds as an "Outstanding Book for the College Bound." His most recent novel, Little Wolves, is also published by Soho.

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Night Birds 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Haz More than 1 year ago
Although I have been a resident of Minnesota for 49 years, the history of the Dakota uprising of 1862 was never presented in a way that interested me. Nightbirds, by Thomas Maltman, completely changed that perception. The book is historical fiction but both the settlers and the Indians actions are based on real events. As in any good historical fiction it is the characters and the readers attachement to them that turn the book into a page turner. Maltman's characters in both the settler and Indian camps are sympathetic and compelling, their behavior fascinating and their actions remarkable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fascinating, well researched and well written page turner. Very good historical fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first it was a little hard to follow but soon smoothed out and I didnt want to put it down
Adaptoid More than 1 year ago
It is exceedingly rare I award a novel five stars. This work earned it and then some. The prose and characters trenched deeply into my unconscious and I've been carrying this story for several days after finishing. I highly recommend.
Jules45MN More than 1 year ago
I was not thrilled and had difficulty. It seemed to need some serious editing. I had to force myself to read at the beginning of the book. It got better about half way through. Did not like the switching back and forth in time lines. The characters with duplicate names was confusing and trying to keep track of which time frame I was in. The subject matter itself is interesting and compelling. Horrific, sad story for all concerned.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beverly_Penn_Lake More than 1 year ago
Night Birds is a book that has all of what is good in historical fiction -- the proper balance of empathy for both sides, with attention to true historical fact and detail that somehow remains impartial. Maltman, an excellent poet as well as a novelist, effuses his prose with superb sensory detail about 1862 Minnesota without the usual Little House on the Prairie idealistic gloss: you can taste the dry desperation in every locust-ridden field. That this book also won an Alex Award does not surprise me; as a teacher, I note that most literature aimed at young adults is laden with the elements of their fast-paced techno-laden worlds, but lacking in something more. Maltman offers them page-turning insight into not only characters and situations they can relate to -- first love, loyalty, family struggles, identity crises -- but also a better understanding of a theme barely covered in their history classes: a more complete picture of the collective memory that is American History. I highly recommend this book to any teachers who use a combined history/literature curriculum for their classes to further an understanding of the Western Indian Wars of the latter 19th century.