The Night Watchman

The Night Watchman

eBook - 2020
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Based on the extraordinary life of National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich's grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C., this powerful novel explores themes of love and death with lightness and gravity and unfolds with the elegant prose, sly humor, and depth of feeling of a master craftsman. Thomas Wazhushk is the night watchman at the jewel bearing plant, the first factory located near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a Chippewa Council member who is trying to understand the consequences of a new "emancipation" bill on its way to the floor of the United States Congress. It is 1953 and he and the other council members know the bill isn't about freedom; Congress is fed up with Indians. The bill is a "termination" that threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land and their very identity. How can the government abandon treaties made in good faith with Native Americans "for as long as the grasses shall grow, and the rivers run"? Since graduating high school, Pixie Paranteau has insisted that everyone call her Patrice. Unlike most of the girls on the reservation, Patrice, the class valedictorian, has no desire to wear herself down with a husband and kids. She makes jewel bearings at the plant, a job that barely pays her enough to support her mother and brother. Patrice's shameful alcoholic father returns home sporadically to terrorize his wife and children and bully her for money. But Patrice needs every penny to follow her beloved older sister, Vera, who moved to the big city of Minneapolis. Vera may have disappeared; she hasn't been in touch in months, and is rumored to have had a baby. Determined to find Vera and her child, Patrice makes a fateful trip to Minnesota that introduces her to unexpected forms of exploitation and violence, and endangers her life. Thomas and Patrice live in this impoverished reservation community along with young Chippewa boxer Wood Mountain and his mother Juggie Blue, her niece and Patrice's best friend Valentine, and Stack Barnes, the white high school math teacher and boxing coach who is hopelessly in love with Patrice. In the Night Watchman, Louise Erdrich creates a fictional world populated with memorable characters who are forced to grapple with the worst and best impulses of human nature. Illuminating the loves and lives, the desires and ambitions of these characters with compassion, wit, and intelligence, The Night Watchman is a majestic work of fiction from this revered cultural treasure.
Publisher: 2020
ISBN: 9780062671202
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Release Date: March

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j
Jackielr
May 20, 2020

Sierra club recommendation.

u
uncommonreader
Apr 17, 2020

Like all of Erdrich's novels, this one is written from the perspective of the whole community. I appreciated learning more about the Termination Bill in the 1950s by which the federal government severed its responsibilities to 113 tribes and seized 4.1 million acres of indigenous land. Disturbingly and unbelievably, the current administration is taking it up again. The story is well told and Erdrich's grandfather was a remarkable human being.

l
laphampeak
Apr 15, 2020

This book is a must read. Erdrich combines history and personal stories of the Turtle Mountain Indians who, in the 50's, were working to survive in a time when rights are being taken away and replaced with the expectations of the new white America. The author has a way of conveying relationship nuance and cultural habits of a community that brings the reader into the experience. I didn't know 'til the end that it was written about her grandfather.

janefmooradian Apr 06, 2020

Any fan of Louise Erdrich should be thrilled with her new story. If you've never read a book of hers, this one may have you checking out more. It's a fictionalized account of the fairly recent attempt by the government to exterminate many native nations and the author's humble grandfather who successfully saves the day. Mixed in the the events are a cast of vividly drawn characters dealing with he challenges of reservation life who feel like friends by the end of the story. Uplifting!

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brangwinn
Mar 22, 2020

As Erdrich says in her afterword, “If you should ever doubt that a series of dry words in a government document can shatter spirits and demolish lives, let this book erase that doubt. Conversely, if you should be of the conviction that we are powerless to change those dry words, let this book give you heart.” Based on her grandfather, this is the story of a Chippewa man who used his boarding school education to fight for the rights of his people. As in other Erdrich stories there is a central story but its also filled with stories of others. For example, Pixie, who is related to Thomas, the night watchman is searching for her sister who was abducted and left her baby alone in a drug filled home. Erdrich shows her skill in weaving an entire solar system of slightly wacky characters among the pages of her book.

p
Plentywood35
Feb 25, 2020

I want to request The Night Watchman by L Erdrich on my kindle but it says it is not a choice. even tho it says it is an ebook choice. Please respond.

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