cover image The Fencepost Chronicles

The Fencepost Chronicles

W. P. Kinsella. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $16.95 (190pp) ISBN 978-0-395-44646-1

The Canadian author's new collection ranks with his award-winner Shoeless Joe and other boffo entertainments. Kinsella's assets as a humoristperfect timing and a wistful touchdistinguish the 13 chronicles narrated by Silas Ermineskin, one of the author's antic Cree Indians living in Alberta. Silas, his buddy Frank Fencepost, Mad Etta, the 400-lb. Medicine Woman, and other appealing characters devote themselves to ""putting one over on the white man, which is what's life all about.'' Mad Etta triumphs over those who detain her in Yellowknife when she's flying to another town to meet the Pope. The Pope's plane is shrouded in ``The Fog''; unable to land, the pilot flies on to Yellowstone, where Etta later appears beside His Holiness on TV, both waving to the cheering crowds. A deft mix of hilarity and sadness marks the reunion of Silas and his sister in the city where she lives with her white husband and son and a toy, ``Indian Joe,'' a souvenir of their childhood. Each of these delightful stories has a special glow. Major ad/promo. (September 18)