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Original Essays | August 21, 2014

Richard Bausch: IMG Why Literature Can Save Us



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The Sacred White Turkey (Flyover Fiction)

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The Sacred White Turkey (Flyover Fiction) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

There is nothing particularly noteworthy about an Easter turkey. But when the turkey is stark white and appears on Easter Sunday on the doorstep of a Lakota medicine woman and her teenage granddaughter, it is clearly out of the ordinary. Taking turns, Stella and her grandmother, Hazel Latour, tell the story of what follows as the mysterious turkey stirs up discord on the reservation, where some greet it as wakan, holy and sacred because of its coloring and timing, and others dismiss it as inexplicable but unimportant, while a less reputable local healer views it as a clear challenge to his standing.
 
A tour de force of storytelling, The Sacred White Turkey is at once remarkably entertaining, rich with suspense and humor, and deeply philosophical, exploring questions of spirituality and power, abuse and trickery, all within a framework that embraces both Native and Catholic traditions. As the Latours find themselves the target of escalating violence, embroiled in a BIA leasing scandal, and witnesses to a turkey crucifixion, readers will find themselves thoroughly engaged in the unfolding mystery and meaning of the sacred white turkey.

Review:

"A lively, heartfelt novel by Washburn, a professor of Indian studies at the University of Arizona, pursues a near-supernatural encounter between a rare white turkey and a Lakota medicine woman and her granddaughter. Hazel Latour and 12-year-old Stella live on a small farm, on a reservation run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Their daily lives are disrupted when, one Easter Sunday, a glorious white turkey makes her home in their chicken coop. Stella sees this as a good omen, believing the turkey to be holy, but Hazel insists it's just a dumb bird and is unafraid of arousing the ire of the head of the tribal leasing office, George Wanbli, a medicine man who she sees as a rival. Clients flock to Hazel, the bird bringing prosperity, but word gets out about the turkey, provoking Wanbli's jealousy. He attempts to crucify the bird and slaughter her chicks, but they miraculously return to life. Washburn doesn't belabor the Christian metaphor, instead alternating between the points of view of Stella and Hazel to weave a charming, plainspoken tale of two people who have only each other until a bird gives them the courage to battle the forces of corruption and evil. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

About the Author

Frances Washburn is an assistant professor of American Indian studies and English at the University of Arizona. She is the author of Elsies Business, available in a Bison Books edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780803228467
Author:
Washburn, Frances
Publisher:
Bison Books
Editor:
Hansen, Ron
Author:
Washburn, Frances A.
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Flyover Fiction
Publication Date:
20100931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Sports General

The Sacred White Turkey (Flyover Fiction) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 208 pages Bison Books - English 9780803228467 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A lively, heartfelt novel by Washburn, a professor of Indian studies at the University of Arizona, pursues a near-supernatural encounter between a rare white turkey and a Lakota medicine woman and her granddaughter. Hazel Latour and 12-year-old Stella live on a small farm, on a reservation run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Their daily lives are disrupted when, one Easter Sunday, a glorious white turkey makes her home in their chicken coop. Stella sees this as a good omen, believing the turkey to be holy, but Hazel insists it's just a dumb bird and is unafraid of arousing the ire of the head of the tribal leasing office, George Wanbli, a medicine man who she sees as a rival. Clients flock to Hazel, the bird bringing prosperity, but word gets out about the turkey, provoking Wanbli's jealousy. He attempts to crucify the bird and slaughter her chicks, but they miraculously return to life. Washburn doesn't belabor the Christian metaphor, instead alternating between the points of view of Stella and Hazel to weave a charming, plainspoken tale of two people who have only each other until a bird gives them the courage to battle the forces of corruption and evil. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
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