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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 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.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Series:||Penguin Classics Series|
|Product dimensions:||4.90(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.50(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.