Synopses & Reviews
Louise White Elk dreams of both belonging and escape, and of
discovering love and freedom on her own terms. But she is a red-haired, tough, and beautiful temptation, and at least three men, each more dangerous than the other, want to control and possess her: Police Officer Charlie Kicking Woman, who struggles between worlds; charismatic but scary Baptiste, who refuses to yield to anyone; and Harvey Stoner, who owns nearly everything.
On the reservation, danger looms everywhere, rising out of fear and anger, deprivation, hunger, and poverty. But just as often for Louise, and for those she loves, danger arises from longing and desire. And from making a choice.
Perma Red is a love-crossed saga about a young woman coming of age under perilous circumstances, and about the consequences of her often contradictory desires. In this breathtaking tale of the American West, a tragic love story unfolds against a classic clash of cultures.
In the tradition of Michael Dorris's Yellow Raft in Blue Water and the novels of Louise Erdrich, Perma Red is an enthralling, devastating debut by a commanding new voice.
"Highly recommended. Strange and haunting, familiar yet different, this novel will stay with you long after you have...put it down....This book will give you a better understanding of native culture, native beliefs and the experience of being native in a world where the white culture is dominant. But don't read it because of that read it because it is still the universal story of the longing of the heart..." The Community Post (Canada)
"Debra Magpie Earling's Perma Red is a terrific novel, tough-minded, gritty, and powerful . . . rich with stories of such elemental truth that they have the resonance of sacred songs, the lingering effect of legends. I haven't read a novel that affected me this much since I first encountered Leslie Silko's Ceremony." James Crumley
"Perma Red is a startlingly spiritual novel of the lives and loves and heartbreak on a Montana Indian reservation. The characters, especially the strangely destructive lovers, Louise and Baptiste, are so sharply drawn that they will bring tears to your eyes. And the landscape, the richly detailed backdrop against which these characters play out their roles, adds a dimension that borders on mythic. Debra Magpie Earling is a truly gifted writer, and Perma Red is a wonder-filled gift to all of us." James Welch
"It is my pleasure to welcome Debra Magpie Earling's boldly drawn and passionate novel, Perma Red." Louise Erdrich
"In the deep wells of compassion for her people, and with her stunning eye for the rituals of their existence, Earling reminds us again that the greatest writing is always about matters of the human heart." Larry Brown
"Like the Loch Ness monster, Sasquatch, and Amelia Earhardt, this book has been circling around my life. I caught glimpses of it, heard people talk about it, saw murky photos of Debra Earling reading from it. And now here it is: the missing link, the Rosetta Stone, the cure for every damn disease there is. This book was great in all its pieces. In totality, its epic." Sherman Alexie