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A Yellow Raft in Blue Water

by

A Yellow Raft in Blue Water Cover

ISBN13: 9780312421854
ISBN10: 0312421850
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Michael Dorris has crafted a fierce saga of three generations of Indian women, beset by hardships and torn by angry secrets, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of kinship. Starting in the present day and moving backward, the novel is told in the voices of the three women: fifteen-year-old part-black Rayona; her American Indian mother, Christine, consumed by tenderness and resentment toward those she loves; and the fierce and mysterious Ida, mother and grandmother whose haunting secrets, betrayals, and dreams echo through the years, braiding together the strands of the shared past.

Michael Dorris's adult fiction includes The Cloud Chamber and Working Men. Among his nonfiction books are Paper Trail and The Broken Chord, the latter of which won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

A Booklist Editors' Choice in both the Adult and Young Adult categories

Michael Dorris's widely acclaimed novel, deemed by many a contemporary classic, spans some forty years, and is set throughout the Pacific Northwest and the West, primarily on a Montana Indian reservation. A Yellow Raft in Blue Water is a moving, deftly constructed, true-to-life saga of three generations of American Indian women, each beset by hardship, frustration, anger, and other innerand outerconflicts. However, the magic and brilliance of this book is that these women are also inextricably joined together by the indissoluble bonds of kinship.

Moving backward in time, the novel is "told" to the reader by three distinct and unforgettable heroine-narrators, beginning with the granddaughter Rayona (or Ray, as she is commonly known). On her own at fifteen, Ray is lonely and vulnerable, yet also brave and resilient. She is tough and smart, and is desperately in search of roots and a homea search made all the more complicated by her mixed ancestry. (Her mother is American Indian and her absent father is Black.)

Next comes Christine, Rays mother. A bitter child of the reservation, Christine grew up a devout Catholic, believing inand waiting forthe end of the world. When such a cataclysm failed to materialize, she lost not only her faith but her grasp on existence itself. Later, she lost perhaps the only person she fully loved, her brother Lee. Christine is upset, naturally, at the awful breaks she keeps getting, but moreover she is painfully at odds with how life is supposed to be lived.

And finally there is the fierce and mysterious Ida, Christines stern mother and Rays taciturn grandmother. Idas haunting secrets, betrayals, and dreamswhich we do not encounter until the concluding chaptersecho through the years, enriching A Yellow Raft in Blue Water in ways both surprising and stirring. By novels end, the shared past of these three women, a cycle of mystery, loss, and neglect, collides with the uncertain yet hopeful future to

up0create a wise, profound, life-affirming story of familial endearment and individual enlightenment.

"Three portraits of remarkable psychological density . . . each of these women speaks to us directly; and together, their voices form a chorus echoing through four decades of family history."The New York Times

"Eloquent . . . much of the power of Yellow Raft lies in its strong and disparate voices, each of a female generation, entwined with the others and yet fighting for breath."The Boston Globe

"An unforgettable portrait of Native Americans . . . a rich, multi-layered portrayal of complex events . . . the language is straight from the barrel, and the emotions conjured up are straight from the heart."Newsday

"A marvel . . . crosses boundaries of sex, age, and culture in one leap and carries you forward without a backward glance, a question, or an eyebrow raised at his chutzpah. Michael Dorris does it with such precise and devastating knowledge of the emotional and cultural terrain that only when you've finally put the novel down do you glance at it wistfully, like some grateful slob wondering about the identity of that masked man already retreating into the foothills."Chicago magazine

"First rate . . . these women are beautifully realized."Anatole Broyard, The New York Times Book Review

"A Yellow Raft in Blue Water is an extraordinary accomplishment."Carolyn See

"Michael Dorris gives us not just one tough, hard-fighting woman, but three, their stories unified by the theme of tenacious love. The pace is breakneck, the dialogue nothing short of brilliant, and the women bound to win hearts. Yellow Raft is a bull's-eye of a novel."Josephine Humphreys

"This is a splendid and enormously moving first novel. Michael Dorris writes with compassion and wit and intelligence, and the remarkable ability to expose the possibility of joy at the heart of human existence. A Yellow Raft in Blue Water is a wonderful book!"Robb Forman Dew

"Dorris handles his theme with as much delicacy as he does power."Minneapolis Star and Tribune

"Poignant and true . . . the overlapping life histories of Rayona, Christine, and Aunt Ida serve as a reminder of the many disguises that love can take . . . Michael Dorris is a wonderful storyteller and a gifted, highly original writer whose style is as evocative of his part of the country and its distinctive culture as the best writing out of the South."The Baltimore Sun

"Powerful . . . a beautifully passionate first novel."Library Journal

"A fully realized, exquisitely written piece of fiction."Booklist

"A flat-out, wonderful book."New York Daily News

"Energetic, understated and seductive." Los Angeles Times

"Cleverly illuminating . . . The writing is fresh and graceful . . . the characters are human and very real. These three women tell a story that is more just plain American than American Indian, more just plain human than American."The Rocky Mountain News (Denver)

"Masterful . . . glows with compassion and integrity."Publishers Weekly

"This is an absolutely wonderful book: Yellow Raft is a priceless contribution to American literature and I hope Michael Dorris keeps writing forever."Gloria Naylor, author of The Women of Brewster Place

"Beautifully written . . . What Michael Dorris has woven together are the strands of three lives, and he has done so with an artistry that never wavers. All three women . . . are unforgettable."St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"A really good book that shows us the humorous, ironic side of reservation life as it has rarely been portrayed."Vine Deloria, Jr., author of Custer Died for Your Sins

"Heartbeat by heartbeat . . . grandmother, mother, and daughter seem to live their youth, middle age, and great age simultaneously . . . timelessly . . . as though three generations know one joy, one heartache. Yet the endurance of the novel's voice is a

up0victory over age, over death . . . that lives longer than the space of the novel."Carolyn Chute, author of The Beans of Egypt, Maine

"One set of eventsthree gripping views . . . that add heft and dimension to the book's abundant humanity."Detroit News

"A strong, beautiful tapestry . . . a pleasure to behold."The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

"Earns admiration from first page to last . . . Suspenseful, constantly gripping, original in its characters and settings, and finally, profoundly moving."People

Synopsis:

Michael Dorris has crafted a fierce saga of three generations of Indian women, beset by hardships and torn by angry secrets, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of kinship. Starting in the present day and moving backward, the novel is told in the voices of the three women: fifteen-year-old part-black Rayona; her American Indian mother, Christine, consumed by tenderness and resentment toward those she loves; and the fierce and mysterious Ida, mother and grandmother whose haunting secrets, betrayals, and dreams echo through the years, braiding together the strands of the shared past.

Michael Dorris's adult fiction includes The Cloud Chamber and Working Men. Among his nonfiction books are Paper Trail and The Broken Chord, the latter of which won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

A Booklist Editors' Choice in both the Adult and Young Adult categories

Michael Dorris's widely acclaimed novel, deemed by many a contemporary classic, spans some forty years, and is set throughout the Pacific Northwest and the West, primarily on a Montana Indian reservation. A Yellow Raft in Blue Water is a moving, deftly constructed, true-to-life saga of three generations of American Indian women, each beset by hardship, frustration, anger, and other inner--and outer--conflicts. However, the magic and brilliance of this book is that these women are also inextricably joined together by the indissoluble bonds of kinship.

Moving backward in time, the novel is told to the reader by three distinct and unforgettable heroine-narrators, beginning with the granddaughter Rayona (or Ray, as she is commonly known). On her own at fifteen, Ray is lonely and vulnerable, yet also brave and resilient. She is tough and smart, and is desperately in search of roots and a home--a search made all the more complicated by her mixed ancestry. (Her mother is American Indian and her absent father is Black.)

Next comes Christine, Ray's mother. A bitter child of the reservation, Christine grew up a devout Catholic, believing in--and waiting for--the end of the world. When such a cataclysm failed to materialize, she lost not only her faith but her grasp on existence itself. Later, she lost perhaps the only person she fully loved, her brother Lee. Christine is upset, naturally, at the awful breaks she keeps getting, but moreover she is painfully at odds with how life is supposed to be lived.

And finally there is the fierce and mysterious Ida, Christine's stern mother and Ray's taciturn grandmother. Ida's haunting secrets, betrayals, and dreams--which we do not encounter until the concluding chapters--echo through the years, enriching A Yellow Raft in Blue Water in ways both surprising and stirring. By novel's end, the shared past of these three women, a cycle of mystery, loss, and neglect, collides with the uncertain yet hopeful future to

up0create a wise, profound, life-affirming story of familial endearment and individual enlightenment.

Three portraits of remarkable psychological density . . . each of these women speaks to us directly; and together, their voices form a chorus echoing through four decades of family history.--The New York Times

Eloquent . . . much of the power of Yellow Raft lies in its strong and disparate voices, each of a female generation, entwined with the others and yet fighting for breath.--The Boston Globe

An unforgettable portrait of Native Americans . . . a rich, multi-layered portrayal of complex events . . . the language is straight from the barrel, and the emotions conjured up are straight from the heart.--Newsday

A marvel . . . crosses boundaries of sex, age, and culture in one leap and carries you forward without a backward glance, a question, or an eyebrow raised at his chutzpah. Michael Dorris does it with such precise and devastating knowledge of the emotional and cultural terrain that only when you've finally put the novel down do you glance at it wistfully, like some grateful slob wondering about the identity of that masked man already retreating into the foothills.--Chicago magazine

First rate . . . these women are beautifully realized.--Anatole Broyard, The New York Times Book Review

A Yellow Raft in Blue Water is an extraordinary accomplishment.--Carolyn See

Michael Dorris gives us not just one tough, hard-fighting woman, but three, their stories unified by the theme of tenacious love. The pace is breakneck, the dialogue nothing short of brilliant, and the women bound to win hearts. Yellow Raft is a bull's-eye of a novel.--Josephine Humphreys

This is a splendid and enormously moving first novel. Michael Dorris writes with compassion and wit and intelligence, and the remarkable ability to expose the possibility of joy at the heart of human existence. A Yellow Raft in Blue Water is a wonderful book --Robb Forman Dew

Dorris handles his theme with as much delicacy as he does power.--Minneapolis Star and Tribune

Poignant and true . . . the overlapping life histories of Rayona, Christine, and Aunt Ida serve as a reminder of the many disguises that love can take . . . Michael Dorris is a wonderful storyteller and a gifted, highly original writer whose style is as evocative of his part of the country and its distinctive culture as the best writing out of the South.--The Baltimore Sun

Powerful . . . a beautifully passionate first novel.--Library Journal

A fully realized, exquisitely written piece of fiction.--Booklist

A flat-out, wonderful book.--New York Daily News

Energetic, understated and seductive. --Los Angeles Times

Cleverly illuminating . . . The writing is fresh and graceful . . . the characters are human and very real. These three women tell a story that is more just plain American than American Indian, more just plain human than American.--The Rocky Mountain News (Denver)

Masterful . . . glows with compassion and integr

Synopsis:

Michael Dorris has crafted a fierce saga of three generations of Indian women, beset by hardships and torn by angry secrets, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of kinship. Starting in the present day and moving backward, the novel is told in the voices of the three women: fifteen-year-old part-black Rayona; her American Indian mother, Christine, consumed by tenderness and resentment toward those she loves; and the fierce and mysterious Ida, mother and grandmother whose haunting secrets, betrayals, and dreams echo through the years, braiding together the strands of the shared past.

About the Author

Michael Dorriss adult fiction includes The Cloud Chamber, The Crown of Columbus, coauthored with Louise Erdrich, and the story collection Working Men. Among his nonfiction works are The Broken Cord, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and a collection of essays, Paper Trail.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Sterling, April 12, 2007 (view all comments by Sterling)
I was transfigured while reading this book. This is a book you can't help but read, yet don't want it to end so you put the reading off. No book can compare to this one with the amount of metaphors, similes, and symbols. If you like letters transposed into words and phrases, then you should read this book! What else can I say?
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)
cheesyfountain, September 18, 2006 (view all comments by cheesyfountain)
It was an alright book, but I would not reccomend it to anyone... At all!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312421854
Author:
Dorris, Michael
Publisher:
Picador USA
Author:
chael Dorris
Author:
Mi
Location:
New York, N.Y.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Indian women
Subject:
Intergenerational relations
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Native American & Aboriginal
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st Picador ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
323
Publication Date:
20030331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.3 x 5.91 x 0.77 in

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A Yellow Raft in Blue Water Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Picador USA - English 9780312421854 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Michael Dorris has crafted a fierce saga of three generations of Indian women, beset by hardships and torn by angry secrets, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of kinship. Starting in the present day and moving backward, the novel is told in the voices of the three women: fifteen-year-old part-black Rayona; her American Indian mother, Christine, consumed by tenderness and resentment toward those she loves; and the fierce and mysterious Ida, mother and grandmother whose haunting secrets, betrayals, and dreams echo through the years, braiding together the strands of the shared past.

Michael Dorris's adult fiction includes The Cloud Chamber and Working Men. Among his nonfiction books are Paper Trail and The Broken Chord, the latter of which won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

A Booklist Editors' Choice in both the Adult and Young Adult categories

Michael Dorris's widely acclaimed novel, deemed by many a contemporary classic, spans some forty years, and is set throughout the Pacific Northwest and the West, primarily on a Montana Indian reservation. A Yellow Raft in Blue Water is a moving, deftly constructed, true-to-life saga of three generations of American Indian women, each beset by hardship, frustration, anger, and other inner--and outer--conflicts. However, the magic and brilliance of this book is that these women are also inextricably joined together by the indissoluble bonds of kinship.

Moving backward in time, the novel is told to the reader by three distinct and unforgettable heroine-narrators, beginning with the granddaughter Rayona (or Ray, as she is commonly known). On her own at fifteen, Ray is lonely and vulnerable, yet also brave and resilient. She is tough and smart, and is desperately in search of roots and a home--a search made all the more complicated by her mixed ancestry. (Her mother is American Indian and her absent father is Black.)

Next comes Christine, Ray's mother. A bitter child of the reservation, Christine grew up a devout Catholic, believing in--and waiting for--the end of the world. When such a cataclysm failed to materialize, she lost not only her faith but her grasp on existence itself. Later, she lost perhaps the only person she fully loved, her brother Lee. Christine is upset, naturally, at the awful breaks she keeps getting, but moreover she is painfully at odds with how life is supposed to be lived.

And finally there is the fierce and mysterious Ida, Christine's stern mother and Ray's taciturn grandmother. Ida's haunting secrets, betrayals, and dreams--which we do not encounter until the concluding chapters--echo through the years, enriching A Yellow Raft in Blue Water in ways both surprising and stirring. By novel's end, the shared past of these three women, a cycle of mystery, loss, and neglect, collides with the uncertain yet hopeful future to

up0create a wise, profound, life-affirming story of familial endearment and individual enlightenment.

Three portraits of remarkable psychological density . . . each of these women speaks to us directly; and together, their voices form a chorus echoing through four decades of family history.--The New York Times

Eloquent . . . much of the power of Yellow Raft lies in its strong and disparate voices, each of a female generation, entwined with the others and yet fighting for breath.--The Boston Globe

An unforgettable portrait of Native Americans . . . a rich, multi-layered portrayal of complex events . . . the language is straight from the barrel, and the emotions conjured up are straight from the heart.--Newsday

A marvel . . . crosses boundaries of sex, age, and culture in one leap and carries you forward without a backward glance, a question, or an eyebrow raised at his chutzpah. Michael Dorris does it with such precise and devastating knowledge of the emotional and cultural terrain that only when you've finally put the novel down do you glance at it wistfully, like some grateful slob wondering about the identity of that masked man already retreating into the foothills.--Chicago magazine

First rate . . . these women are beautifully realized.--Anatole Broyard, The New York Times Book Review

A Yellow Raft in Blue Water is an extraordinary accomplishment.--Carolyn See

Michael Dorris gives us not just one tough, hard-fighting woman, but three, their stories unified by the theme of tenacious love. The pace is breakneck, the dialogue nothing short of brilliant, and the women bound to win hearts. Yellow Raft is a bull's-eye of a novel.--Josephine Humphreys

This is a splendid and enormously moving first novel. Michael Dorris writes with compassion and wit and intelligence, and the remarkable ability to expose the possibility of joy at the heart of human existence. A Yellow Raft in Blue Water is a wonderful book --Robb Forman Dew

Dorris handles his theme with as much delicacy as he does power.--Minneapolis Star and Tribune

Poignant and true . . . the overlapping life histories of Rayona, Christine, and Aunt Ida serve as a reminder of the many disguises that love can take . . . Michael Dorris is a wonderful storyteller and a gifted, highly original writer whose style is as evocative of his part of the country and its distinctive culture as the best writing out of the South.--The Baltimore Sun

Powerful . . . a beautifully passionate first novel.--Library Journal

A fully realized, exquisitely written piece of fiction.--Booklist

A flat-out, wonderful book.--New York Daily News

Energetic, understated and seductive. --Los Angeles Times

Cleverly illuminating . . . The writing is fresh and graceful . . . the characters are human and very real. These three women tell a story that is more just plain American than American Indian, more just plain human than American.--The Rocky Mountain News (Denver)

Masterful . . . glows with compassion and integr

"Synopsis" by ,
Michael Dorris has crafted a fierce saga of three generations of Indian women, beset by hardships and torn by angry secrets, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of kinship. Starting in the present day and moving backward, the novel is told in the voices of the three women: fifteen-year-old part-black Rayona; her American Indian mother, Christine, consumed by tenderness and resentment toward those she loves; and the fierce and mysterious Ida, mother and grandmother whose haunting secrets, betrayals, and dreams echo through the years, braiding together the strands of the shared past.

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