Michael Doane Bullet Heart

ISBN 13: 9780679425076

Bullet Heart

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9780679425076: Bullet Heart
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The discovery of a pioneer graveyard containing the remains of both white settlers and those of a Sioux girl unleashes a struggle with profound repercussions over the remains that reveals the tortured history of the West and the realities and conflicts of reservation life.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Doane (City of Light, 1992) uses a semisuccessful revolving narrative voice to relate the events following the discovery of a Native American's bones on the grounds of a South Dakota golf course in the early 1970s. When the state government appropriates the bones and refuses to return them, a group of Sioux begins stockpiling weapons at the Indian reservation in Choteau. The authorities eventually raid the cache, and Tyrone Little, an apparently Caucasian Vietnam veteran living on a farm outside of Choteau, is accused of having betrayed the rebels to the government. Tyrone and his lover, Delores Her Many Horses, a woman with a reputation who ``goes barefoot'' (doesn't use birth control), are at the center of the novel's nonpolitical story as well. Tyrone shoots another man, but the bullet passes through him and into Delores's womb, where it lodges in her fetus. Her son Joseph is born with a permanent scar on his chest, and many people ascribe his survival of that prenatal trauma to magical abilities they believe he still possesses. The many characters who speak their piece here make this a noisy novel, and Doane often has trouble differentiating their voices, even though each section begins with a name. (Some are in the first person and some in the third, but each gives a single character's point of view.) This blur of narrators is especially noticeable at crucial points in the plot--such as a shoot-out with federal agents--when the story is handed off rapidly from one character to the next. The longer chapters are more satisfying, and when he allows himself the space, Doane has a sharp method for bringing diverse parts together into a sinuous and surprising whole. Derring-do mixed with personal drama, sometimes bogged down by a crowded chorus. (Book-of-the-Month Club alternate selection) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Bitter legacies of Amerindian history erupt in tragic bloodshed at the center of this ambitious, transgenerational tale of adversity and renewal set in the reservation town of Choteau, S.D., from the early 1970s to the present. When golf course developers unearth a Lakota burial ground at the site of their 14th tee, they arouse anger on the adjacent reservation by relocating the graves of white settlers while shipping the bones of an Indian girl to the state capitol as relics--and by completing the course despite the probable presence of additional remains below. The powerlessness of Indian leaders to undo this injustice is the final insult to a community already shamefully exploited by its neighbors and living under humiliating conditions of poverty and debasement. After they steal back the bones, the men of Choteau begin arming themselves as they face increased harassment from authorities, hostile neighbors and other Indian factions. Doane ( City of Light ) chronicles the enusing conflict and its far-reaching consequences from the disparate perspectives of some dozen characters, captured in small, dramatic increments of first- and third-person narration. He writes incisively, subtly dramatizing cultural elements that shape Choteau's predicament. Jumping back and forth in time and juxtaposing varying attitudes and recollections, Doane creates a batch of vivid, painstakingly crafted puzzle pieces that on assembly yield a persuasive impression of the truth--both of history and of the lives of his memorable characters. BOMC alternate selection.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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