On the Rez

On the Rez

by Ian Frazier
4.6 10

Paperback(First Edition)

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On the Rez by Ian Frazier

On the Rez is a sharp, unflinching account of the modern-day American Indian experience, especially that of the Oglala Sioux, who now live on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the plains and badlands of the American West. Crazy Horse, perhaps the greatest Indian war leader of the 1800s, and Black Elk, the holy man whose teachings achieved worldwide renown, were Oglala; in these typically perceptive pages, Frazier seeks out their descendants on Pine Ridge—a/k/a "the rez"—which is one of the poorest places in America today.

Along with his longtime friend Le War Lance (whom he first wrote about in his 1989 bestseller, Great Plains) and other Oglala companions, Frazier fully explores the rez as they visit friends and relatives, go to pow-wows and rodeos and package stores, and tinker with a variety of falling-apart cars. He takes us inside the world of the Sioux as few writers ever have, writing with much wit, compassion, and imagination. In the career of SuAnne Big Crow, for example, the most admired Oglala basketball player of all time, who died in a car accident in 1992, Frazier finds a contemporary reemergence of the death-defying, public-spirited Sioux hero who fights with grace and glory to save her followers.

On the Rez vividly portrays the survival, through toughness and humor, of a great people whose culture has helped to shape the American identity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312278595
Publisher: Picador
Publication date: 05/28/2001
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 504,759
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Ian Frazier lives in Montclair, New Jersey. His previous books include Great Plains, Family, and Coyote V. Acme.

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On the Rez 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful, beautifully written book about life on the Pine Ridge Reservation, filled with fascinating, inspiring stories of the Sioux Indians that live there. Frazier has chapters relating a good deal of tribal history (such as the conflicts at Wounded Knee) as well as background on how the entire reservation system came to be. He also relates many of his own experiences with one member of the tribe, Le War Lance, which are often extremely funny, sometimes poignant, but always engrossing. While it does not avoid the current plight of the Sioux (alcoholism, poverty, etc.), On the Rez gives a portrait of an incredibly strong and resiliant people. This book should be treasured by those with an interest in American history (or any genre for that matter). It is a great book, written by a master.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found myself wanting to jump in my car and drive to Happy town. SueAnne BigCrow was an amazing young lady, I wish I could have met her in person, her mother can be proud SueAnne continues to inspire a new generation. The stories about Lee are a hoot! Sounds like this man has been there, done that and has the t-shirt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Filled with information, highly readable, moving and a truly American book Frazier does the research and shows us history, geography, and the vicissitudes of government policy
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Guest More than 1 year ago
SuAnne Big Crow is not a fictional aspect of this book I'm not sure why another review doubted Frazier's account of SuAnne Big Crow's story. Not only is it true but also verification of its authenticity would take someone perhaps a minute. This is the best book I have ever read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ian Frazier gives a pretty straight and honest appraisal of modern life on an Indian Reservation. The inhabitants are desperately poor and obviously have little real chance of rising above it, with the notable exception of the rising generation of casino owners. Like most depressed societies the one way is to hold out one's hand for whatever generosities may be passing one's way and Frazier is obviously happy to oblige those unfortunates he meets, but this of course never gets to the core of the problem. In Frazier the Native Americans have a voice, it remains to be seen who is listening.
Guest More than 1 year ago
On the Rez is an informative, interesting and realistic look at life on Indian reservations. Having lived my entire life on the East coast, I have not had a great deal of exposure to the lives of Native Americans living in today's society and found this book to be an excellent source of information and greater understanding. While Frazier clearly loves and respects the people of Pine Ridge, he is careful to give readers an honest look at the reservation and its people - at their best and sometimes worst. As for one reviewer's remark regarding the SuAnne Big Crow story, and her belief that SuAnne was a fictional character - the reviewer clearly misread the footnotes. Frazier did not 'make up' the story of SuAnne - her story is real and heartbreaking and one of the most revealing and interesting sections of his book. While Frazier at times does repeat the stories of SuAnne told to him by others, stories that he cannot confirm are true, he is careful to note this in the text and makes no misrepresentations to readers. These unconfirmed legends, instead of misleading the reader, demonstrate the impact that SuAnne had on the people who knew her and how much larger her legend has become since her untimely death. It would be unfortunate if anyone were dissuaded from reading Frazier's novel, and from learning about the lives of these great people, because of one reviewer's unfortunate misunderstanding.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is by far the best novel i have ever read