The Old Shelter

Dieselpunk Roaring Twenties. Sarah Zama's Author Blog

Archive for the tag “native american authors”

Thursday Quotables – Ledfether

Instead of pulling the door shut, too, the kid, that Doby Saxon whose mum had married that Yellowtail who didn’t even have an Indian name anymore, he just stood there like he was waiting for permission to come in, waiting for me or Junior to say to him it was ok if he had the snow crusted all over him still, that he could stomp it off in here if he wanted, that we’d mop it up later.

But then I looked to what he was looking at.

It was the back door; all the way through the dining room.

Because the front door was open, the back door was rattling, like somebody was trying to get in, or had just left. I’m not even sure the kid  knew we could see him.

quotation-marks4Stephen Graham Jones writes with a very personal style. And I liked it a lot. I also liked a lot his storyteller’s trick in this story (and I won’t reveal it), I thought it was very clever, and created a very involving, dreamy atmosphere for this very peculiar story.

But in the end, this trick was a lot less meaningful to the story than I thought it would be, and in fact turned out to be quite inconsequential, which was a let down for me. The story turned out to be confusing too, which also is a pity. There are a lot of very clever intuitions in this story, but I’m not at all sure they were exploited to their full strength.

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Did you like this quote? Here’s a few things you might want to do.

  1. Head over to Bookshelf Fantasies, who sponsors the Thursday Quotables, and join in the fun.
  2. Post a quote on your blog and make sure to leave a link in the comment box below. I’ll be sure to visit and comment.
  3. Maybe you’ve read this author too and would love to share your opinion. By all means do it in the comment box below. I’ll never object.
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Thursday Quotable – Medicine River

“That’s strange, Will. Can’t imagine Harlen missing this.”
Neither could I. Harlen went to everything. He went to all the powwow. He went to all the funerals. He went to all the weddings, the births and most of the court cases. Any time there was a gathering  of two or more Indians in a hundred-miles radius of Medicine River, chances were one of them was Harlen.

Thomas KingMedicine River

quotation-marks4Medicine River is an incredible book. It merges the short story and novel media to create a story that is complete even in its episodic nature.

Harlen Bigbear is the story’s strongest character, in my opinion. One of those characters you learn to know slowly while you read, because he’s so complex you can’t take him all in at once. Although I believe his relationship with the main character Will really makes the character shine.

The story number “seven”, which tells about how Harlen and Will first met, is my absolute favourite in the book. It makes me laugh and cry and it’s just very moving. Harlen is a friend of Will’s brother. When his mother dies, Will goes back to Medicine River for the funeral and that’s when he meets Harlen the first time. This is one of the first dialogue they exchange.

“My job’s in Toronto.”
Harlen turned the radio down a bit. “Can’t see Ninastiko from Toronto,” he said. “So, when you think you’ll be moving back home?”
“Here?”
“Sure. Most of us figured that, with your mother and all, you’d be coming home soon.”
There was no logic in it, but my stomach tightened when Harlen said home.
“James says you take picture. People pay you for doing that?”
“Well… yeah.”
“You take the pictures of all those disasters that you see in the newspapers?”
“No, I take pictures of people mostly. Weddings, portraits, things like that.”
“That’s good. We got a lot of people out here but not many disasters. You could start your own business, you know?”
I told Harlem I liked Toronto. There were good restaurants, places to go. Things to do. Medicine River was small.
“American Hotel is a great place for a beer. Baggy’s just opened a sit-down restaurant. You got the Rockies, too. You see over there,” Harlen said, gesturing with his chin. “Ninastiko… Chief Mountain. That’s how we know where we are. When we can see the mountains, we know we’re home. Didn’t your mother ever tell you that?”

Thomas King – Medicine River

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Did you like this quote? Here’s a few things you might want to do.

  1. Head over to Bookshelf Fantasies, who sponsors the Thursday Quotables, and join in the fun.
  2. Post a quote on your blog and make sure to leave a link in the comment box below. I’ll be sure to visit and comment.
  3. Maybe you’ve read this author too and would love to share your opinion. By all means do it in the comment box below. I’ll never object.

 

Winter in the Blood

I first heard about the film from Winter in the Blood late in 2011, when I first read the book. At the time, it was still been filmed.

Because I liked the book so much and because the little snippets from the film seemed so promising, I kept an eye out for the film. I never heard anything, but in 2013, while trying to retrieve the film official site for a friend, I found the first trailer. So my hopes soared that the film was indeed coming out.
But still no news.

At the beginning of this year, I came back to the site, found this fantastic trailer and learned that the film was selected for quite a few film festivals. But still I can’t find any trace of it anywhere.

This is really a mysterious movie. And still I can’t wait to see it, so if anyone has any news, please…

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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Did you like this quote? Here’s a few things you might want to do.

  1. Head over to Bookshelf Fantasies, who sponsors the Thursday Quotables, and join in the fun.
  2. Post a quote on your blog and make sure to leave a link in the comment box below. I’ll be sure to visit and comment.
  3. Maybe you’ve read this author too and would love to share your opinion. By all means do it in the comment box below. I’ll never object.

 

 

Anger

sherman-alexie

You can’t sustain [anger].  You become bitter.  Nothing’s going to change.  Anger leads to resentment, then to spiking your orange juice, then to martyrdom.

– Sherman Alexie

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