The Old Shelter

Dieselpunk Roaring Twenties. Sarah Zama's Author Blog

Thursday Quotable – Winter in the Blood

The old woman imagined that the girl was Cree and enemy and plotted ways to slit her throat. One day, the flint striker would do; another day she favored the paring knife she kept hidden in her legging. Day after day, these two sat across each other until the pile of movie magazines spread halfway across the room and the paring knife grew heavy in the old lady’s eyes.

James Welch – Winter in the Blood

quotation-marks4The two main characters of my story are Native Americans (Lakota Ogalala). This prompted me to read novels from Native writers and is how I discovered so many wonderful storytellers.

Winter in the Blood was the first Native novel I read and is still one of my favourit. James Welch (Blackfeet/Gros Ventre) writes with a powerful voice. When he describes people and places, you can always see beyond his words. There is a whole universe of symbols and meaning inside every one of his characters, every one of their choices, every one of their gestures. There are stories inside his stories, if you want to see them.

That’s why I like his work so much.


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2 thoughts on “Thursday Quotable – Winter in the Blood

  1. I read Winter in the Blood 5 or 6 years ago, and while I don’t remember much of the plot specifics, I do remember being so impressed and moved by the writing and the themes. Wonderful choice!

    • The plot of ‘Winter in the Blood’ is very peculiar. It follows the unnamed protagonist on a journey to find his runaway new wife, away from his land and possibly the life of his people. But at the same time, the plot follows the protagonist inner journey back to that same land and people.
      Every image, every event, every word, every thought resonates in the outer journey as well as in the inner one and the intermingling of the two experiences gives new meaning to both journeys. It’s really a brilliant, touching story.

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