I know, I know, it has been two weeks since I have posted something and you are waiting for the next episode about my first trip to Florida... Well, the bad news is, that editing takes a lot of time. However, I am working on it and it will be posted next week. The good news is that I have come up with a new category for my future blog posts 'The Forgotten Book' wherein I will write a short review on books which have been published decades ago. BUT the here presented books will have one characteristic feature: They seem to be just too valueable and special in certain ways to collectively forget about them, because of some new books hyped by the media. NEW is not synonymous with better...
So, today I want to (re)introduce you to a piece of Native American fiction which is mostly about contemporary Indian characters who are connected by their origins but whoes lives turned out rather differently. They all return to the Sun Dance of their reservation but they are not the only participants focused on. It all leads up to encountering four Indian elders with their fellow Coyote. The later is rather a special spirit than an animal, he's the Trickster in Blackfoot culture, and therefore many strange and funny incidents and dialogs entertain the open-minded reader.
Published exactly two decades ago, it deals with topics which have remained strikingly prominent: independant and educated Native American Alberta longs for a Baby but not for a husband; the log cabin Eli inherited, endangers a lucrative dam project and Lionel's career plans didn't work out the way he had expected at younger age... With the chapters on these three and others the book is like a huge puzzle or riddle, especially when storys about Coyote's adventures are told in a kind of comic style (half of the book).
The authour Thomas King, a Canadian Cherokee, has taken the liberty to play with aspects of white western culture and stops at nothing, not even at important biblical figures. So, perhaps this novel is nothing for very conservative Christians, though I would advise everybody to read at least the first 100 pages which is about 1/4 before judging and making the decision to put the book away or to read on joyfully :)
Here, one of the comic-like and provocating scenes (excerpt, page 435):
And, says Nasty Bumpo, Whites are particularly good killers. Do you see that deer over there?
Oh, dear, says Old Woman. That's not a deer. That's Old Coyote.
What's an Old Coyote? says Nasty Bumppo, and that one shoots at Old Coyote.
Stop shooting, says Old Coyote. You could kill someone with that really big gun.
Stand still, Nasty Bumppo tells Old Coyote, so I can shoot you.
Boy, says Old Coyote, I was safer in that other story. And Old Coyote jumps into a hole by a big tree.
Phooey, says Nasty Bumpoo. Now I'm going to have to kill something else.
Well, says Old Woman, there's no one here but you and me.
Well, that sure is a problem, Chingachgook, says Nasty Bumpoo. That sure is a problem. [...]
BOOK at Amazon.com - few the first 3 pages!
BOOK at Amazon.de - Englische Bücher - die ersten 3 Seiten lesen!
Attention: All Rights reserved. Copyright 1993 by Thomas King.