Reservation Nation

Dave F. Cook, Author, David Cook, Author . Boaz $22 (208p) ISBN 978-1-893448-04-9

The Uwharrie of North Carolina came up against the controversial Indian termination policy of the 1950s and '60s, which sought to mainstream Native Americans. Warren Eubanks, whose Uwharrie name means “the Seed,” grew up under the care of his grandparents in the 1950s, and narrates troubled reservation life as an older man looking back at his childhood and Vietnam-era younger adulthood, witness to a besieged community that has had to figure out how to “continu[e] to be Indian.” Warren moves back and forth between different periods in the past, telling of conflict between the old ways, as followed by elders such as great Aunt Ida, who could read minds, and Grandmother, a weaver and singer, and the ruinous ways of the Kowache , or white people, to which Chief Billy Farmer is drawn. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, the American Indian Movement and various corporations all play in as Warren slowly narrates how the reservation lands are handled, all the while staying close to people like the motorcycle riding Joe Bad Crow and Sun Susie, a horse trainer daughter whose mysterious death haunts these pages. In channeling Warren, Cook's beautifully modulated, speechlike cadences give his debut novel a quiet power. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/24/2007
Release date: 12/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Discover what to read next