The Hiawatha: A Novel

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Recently widowed, and encouraged by government relocation schemes to move Native Americans off their reservations, Betty takes her four young children from their Ojibwe roots to make a new life in Minneapolis. As Betty struggles to keep her family and her dignity intact, her younger son Lester finds romance on the soon-to-be-demolished train, The Hiawatha, while his older brother Simon secretly protects his mother by taking a dangerous job as a construction worker, scaling the heights of the skyscrapers that, once completed, will never welcome him.

Twenty years later, Simon is released from prison for a horrible crime of passion. His return to Minneapolis sets in motion the dramatic, inevitable conclusion to one family's ceaseless fight to survive.

An elegy to the American dream, and to the sometimes tragic experience of the Native Americans who helped to build it, The Hiawatha is both a moving portrait of a family, and a fast-paced, page-turning literary mystery of murder and redemption.

David Treuer more than delivers on the promise he displayed in his acclaimed first novel, Little, and confirms his reputation as one of the most talented and original writers of his generation.

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About the author

David Treuer grew up on an Ojibwe reservation in Northern Minnesota, attended Princeton University, and now divides his time between Minnesota and Wisconsin, where he teaches English at the University of Wisconsin.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Picador
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Published on
Jul 30, 2013
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781466850170
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Native American & Aboriginal
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction

Finalist for the 2017 PEN Faulkner Award

In this literary masterwork, Louise Erdrich, the bestselling author of the National Book Award-winning The Round House and the Pulitzer Prize nominee The Plague of Doves wields her breathtaking narrative magic in an emotionally haunting contemporary tale of a tragic accident, a demand for justice, and a profound act of atonement with ancient roots in Native American culture.

North Dakota, late summer, 1999. Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence—but when the buck springs away, Landreaux realizes he’s hit something else, a blur he saw as he squeezed the trigger. When he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighbor’s five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich.

The youngest child of his friend and neighbor, Peter Ravich, Dusty was best friends with Landreaux’s five-year-old son, LaRose. The two families have always been close, sharing food, clothing, and rides into town; their children played together despite going to different schools; and Landreaux’s wife, Emmaline, is half sister to Dusty’s mother, Nola. Horrified at what he’s done, the recovered alcoholic turns to an Ojibwe tribe tradition—the sweat lodge—for guidance, and finds a way forward. Following an ancient means of retribution, he and Emmaline will give LaRose to the grieving Peter and Nola. “Our son will be your son now,” they tell them.

LaRose is quickly absorbed into his new family. Plagued by thoughts of suicide, Nola dotes on him, keeping her darkness at bay. His fierce, rebellious new “sister,” Maggie, welcomes him as a coconspirator who can ease her volatile mother’s terrifying moods. Gradually he’s allowed shared visits with his birth family, whose sorrow mirrors the Raviches’ own. As the years pass, LaRose becomes the linchpin linking the Irons and the Raviches, and eventually their mutual pain begins to heal.

But when a vengeful man with a long-standing grudge against Landreaux begins raising trouble, hurling accusations of a cover-up the day Dusty died, he threatens the tenuous peace that has kept these two fragile families whole.

Inspiring and affecting, LaRose is a powerful exploration of loss, justice, and the reparation of the human heart, and an unforgettable, dazzling tour de force from one of America’s most distinguished literary masters.

ÿ"Powerful and unforgettable."At the beginning of the twentieth century, the son of an English lord settles in Australia and marries an indigenous woman. It is an age when interracial relationships are not only misunderstood, but result in family conflict, disgrace, and disinheritance.
Then the Christian missionaries come. They destroy the timeless culture and beliefs of Australia's indigenous people, leaving them to flounder in a soup of the white man's religious beliefs. The great-grandmother's telling of the family story is the nourishment that holds it together through war, and the constant battle to adjust and exist in a white man's world. The Christian missionaries will not tolerate any belief or view other than their own. Amid all this religious and racial conflict, the great-grandchildren adjust and eventually prosper. The young man distinguishes himself in the conflict in Vietnam, while his sister finds her place and flourishes in the food and catering industry.
From the Boer War through two World Wars, the Vietnam War, and the last decades of the twentieth century, Matriarch takes readers on an eye-opening journey through Australian history, culminating in a serial murder mystery that opens old family wounds.
Author Geoffrey Hope Gibson's historical sweep of Australia's past is as broad as James A. Michener's. His style is reminiscent of Richard Llewellyn's depictions of Wales and Argentina, and his depiction of Aborigine mistreatment rivals the most frightening moments in Tayeb Salih's classic postcolonial novelÿSeason of Migration to the North.

"Matriarchÿis a captivating story that will take readers through time within the aboriginal heart in Australia, and feel the raw truth of their history and social evolution to current times. A Must Read!"
--Susan Violante, Managing Editor of Reader Views, and author ofÿInnocent War

"This sprawling epic tale of love, marriage, injustice, ancestors, misguided religion, grief, rage, and murder is a testament to how the past never dies. In one family's struggles, Gibson creates a story that calls forth the best and worst of what it means to be human. Powerful and unforgettable."
--Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D., and award-winning author ofÿNarrow LivesÿandÿThe Best Place

Learn more at www.GeoffreyGibson.com
From the World Voices Series
Modern History Press www.ModernHistoryPress.com
Fiction : Sagas
Fiction : Thrillers : Historical
ONE OF THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

WINNER OF THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE

One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, NPR, Time, O, The Oprah Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Entertainment Weekly, The Boston Globe, GQ, The Dallas Morning News, Buzzfeed, BookPage, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews   

NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLER 

Tommy Orange’s “groundbreaking, extraordinary” (The New York Times) There There is the “brilliant, propulsive” (People Magazine) story of twelve unforgettable characters, Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day. It’s “the year’s most galvanizing debut novel” (Entertainment Weekly).
 
As we learn the reasons that each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow—some generous, some fearful, some joyful, some violent—momentum builds toward a shocking yet inevitable conclusion that changes everything. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle’s death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle’s memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and will to perform in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and loss.
 
There There is a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America few of us have ever seen. It’s “masterful . . . white-hot . . . devastating” (The Washington Post) at the same time as it is fierce, funny, suspenseful, thoroughly modern, and impossible to put down. Here is a voice we have never heard—a voice full of poetry and rage, exploding onto the page with urgency and force. Tommy Orange has written a stunning novel that grapples with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and profound spirituality, and with a plague of addiction, abuse, and suicide. This is the book that everyone is talking about right now, and it’s destined to be a classic.
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