From the River's Edge

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Author Arcade Publishing $17.95 (147p) ISBN 978-1-55970-051-1
A trial concerning stolen cattle becomes the foil to the tragic relationship between Native Americans and later arrivals in Cook-Lynn's ( The Power of Horses ) spare, poignant novel. Soon after agreeing to press charges against a young white man for the theft, Sioux John Tatekeya finds himself and his tribe, the Dakotahs, on trial. Along with other South Dakota reservations dwellers, Tatekeya has been forced to relocate in order to make way for a new dam. Accordingly, the trial seems a sad continuation of the Dakotahs' troubled history. But when a relative testifies against him, Tatekeya feels that a line has been crossed: colonialism has finally cost his people their essential value, responsibility to family. Woven throughout the courtroom proceedings are the mournful recollections of Tatekeya and his lover, Aurelia. Beautifully fusing the Northern Plains setting with her plot, Cook-Lynn establishes a larger significance for the trial and, despite occasional lapses in narrative momentum--telling rather than showing salient developments--places the sorrows and frustrations of Native Americans in stark relief. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
Hardcover - 141 pages - 978-1-937141-12-7
Ebook - 978-1-937141-13-4
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