In a world where the natural order of reproduction is rapidly turning upside down, pregnant women are being rounded up as a matter of national security. A young Ojibwe orphan, Cedar, discovers she’s with child. In this harrowing dystopia Cedar struggles to give birth to her baby on her own terms. If you liked A Handmaid’s Tale, this is a great companion piece, told with a Native American twist. Compelling reading!
A poignant, brutally candid memoir of our country’s enduring racism. Laymon examines this hateful, violent legacy through its effects on his mother and himself — two university professors who have apparently succeeded in the dominant white world. Yet beneath the surface both are damaged and self-destructive individuals warped by obsessive behaviors they understand intellectually but seem powerless to change.
An impressive debut novel by a new voice in Native American literature. The book deals with the dilemma of urban Indians in Oakland, California, people who are estranged from their ancestral cultures and heritage, but equally at a loss when dealing with mainstream society. It has one of the best first chapters I’ve read in years, and it builds to a sledge-hammer ending. A must read!
An exuberant novel based loosely on Cathy Williams, the only woman to have served clandestinely in the legendary Buffalo Soldiers. Starting with her emancipation during the Civil War, leading up to the surrender at Appomattox and then on to plains of Texas during the Indian Wars, it’s a celebration of blackness and womanhood. A book you’ll not want to put down and a character you won’t soon forget.
The prequel to Hoffman’s wildly popular Practical Magic, this book chronicles the backstory of the first story’s two eccentric aunts, Franny and Jet and brother Vincent as they grow up in turbulent sixties and seventies. Magic and love abound. The first book was delightful, but this one is better; the writing more mature, the characters more complex, the storyline more compelling. It casts a spell that’s irresistible.
This ode to the mustang—American symbol of freedom and independence—begins in prehistory by tracing the horse through its first extinction in the New World, its reintroduction by the Spanish, its escape into the wild, and all the twists of its continuing survival. A story packed with detail, out-sized characters and even-handed analysis. You’ll never think of mustangs in the same way again.
Paul Simon ranks with the Beatles and Dylan in both the craft and depth of his work. Culled from over a 100 hours of interviews with the artist and three years of painstaking research, this is a portrait of an artist fiercely devoted to his music, a perfectionist and an innovator who was, and still is, always pushing himself in new musical directions. This is the definitive biography of one our greatest singer-songwriters.
This feminist retelling of The Iliad concentrates not on the epic battles at Troy but the struggles of the camp women, taken from their homes and families to slave as servants and bedmates to the Greek warriors. Briseis, the captive awarded to Achilles, and taken from him by Agamemnon, narrates the story with unflinching candor. A woman caught between two powerful men, she somehow endures.
The place: 1947 San Francisco, replete with fog, opium dens, strip joints and working-class taverns. The hero: a bartender with connections to all the wrong people. The dame: a leggy blonde with an attitude. All the makings for a hard-boiled tale of woe. Yet in Moore’s deft hands it becomes a cheeky romp through the genre’s clichés. A fun read that is both a satire and a tribute to a lost art form.