While the Locust Slept: A Memoir (Native Voices)

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9780873514392: While the Locust Slept: A Memoir (Native Voices)
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In stark, haunting prose, first-time author Peter Razor recalls his early years as a ward of the State of Minnesota. Disclosing his story through flashbacks and relying on research from his own case files, Razor pieces together the shattered fragments of his boyhood into a memoir that reads as compellingly as a novel.

Abandoned as an infant at the State Public School in Owatonna, Minnesota, Peter Razor is raised by abusive workers who thought of him as nothing more than "a dirty Injun." Cut off from his family and his heritage, he turns inward, forced to learn about the world on his own. After failed attempts to run away from the orphanage, he is indentured by the state to an abusive, reclusive farm family. Beaten, poorly fed, clothed in rags, and worked like slave labor, he struggles to attend high school and begins to dream of another life. Razor's stark and often chilling story, devoid of self-pity, recalls with haunting clarity the years he, like the locust, patiently waited to awaken and emerge.

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About the Author:

Peter Razor

From Publishers Weekly:

A stirring tale of a Native American childhood, this debut draws on personal memories and official records to track Razor's painful yet triumphant years as a ward of the state of Minnesota. Abandoned by a jobless, alcoholic Chippewa father and an emotionally troubled, institutionalized mother in 1930, Razor was taken at 17 months to the State Public School at Owatonna, which he describes as a rigid, Spartan institution, where he awaited an adoption that never happened. At 15, having endured prejudice, isolation, neglect and terrible physical abuse by the staff, he was sent to work for a local farmer named John. Via a series of detailed flashbacks, Razor recounts his oppressive relationship with his new employer in spare prose loaded with feeling and insight. John's cruel treatment of Razor and of John's own wife, only stiffens the orphan's will. Meanwhile, at school, a savage hammer attack by one of the staff leaves Peter seriously injured and unable to attend classes or work for weeks. Upon returning to school, Razor finds new friends and experiences in the local high school, recounted with great energy and humor. But his situation on John's farm worsens, and eventually he's removed. While the book's conclusion is credible, it rushes toward a feel-good finish that does not live up to the power and grit of the early chapters. The epilogue of this valuable coming of age story sketches Razor's adult livelihood as a journeyman electrician, his decision to investigate his reviled Native heritage and the three children who have enriched his life. National advertising; regional author appearances.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Minnesota Historical Society Press,U.S., United States, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In stark, haunting prose, first-time author Peter Razor recalls his early years as a ward of the State of Minnesota. Disclosing his story through flashbacks and relying on research from his own case files, Razor pieces together the shattered fragments of his boyhood into a memoir that reads as compellingly as a novel. Abandoned as an infant at the State Public School in Owatonna, Minnesota, Peter Razor is raised by abusive workers who thought of him as nothing more than a dirty Injun. Cut off from his family and his heritage, he turns inward, forced to learn about the world on his own. After failed attempts to run away from the orphanage, he is indentured by the state to an abusive, reclusive farm family. Beaten, poorly fed, clothed in rags, and worked like slave labor, he struggles to attend high school and begins to dream of another life. Razor s stark and often chilling story, devoid of self-pity, recalls with haunting clarity the years he, like the locust, patiently waited to awaken and emerge. Seller Inventory # AAS9780873514392

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Book Description Minnesota Historical Society Press,U.S., United States, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In stark, haunting prose, first-time author Peter Razor recalls his early years as a ward of the State of Minnesota. Disclosing his story through flashbacks and relying on research from his own case files, Razor pieces together the shattered fragments of his boyhood into a memoir that reads as compellingly as a novel. Abandoned as an infant at the State Public School in Owatonna, Minnesota, Peter Razor is raised by abusive workers who thought of him as nothing more than a dirty Injun. Cut off from his family and his heritage, he turns inward, forced to learn about the world on his own. After failed attempts to run away from the orphanage, he is indentured by the state to an abusive, reclusive farm family. Beaten, poorly fed, clothed in rags, and worked like slave labor, he struggles to attend high school and begins to dream of another life. Razor s stark and often chilling story, devoid of self-pity, recalls with haunting clarity the years he, like the locust, patiently waited to awaken and emerge. Seller Inventory # AAS9780873514392

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Book Description Minnesota Historical Society Press. Paperback. Condition: New. 200 pages. Dimensions: 8.0in. x 5.3in. x 0.8in.In stark, haunting prose, first-time author Peter Razor recalls his early years as a ward of the State of Minnesota. Told in flashbacks and relying on research from his own case files, Razor manages to piece together the shattered fragments of his boyhood into a memoir that reads as compellingly as a novel. Abandoned as an infant at the State Public School in Owatonna, Razor spent his childhood at the hands of abusive workers who thought of him as nothing more than a dirty Injun. He endures years of beatings with a broom or radiator brush -- whatever was handy until, one night while he is asleep, one of the matrons attacks him with a hammer. Fearing for his life, he makes two failed attempts to run away from the orphanage. Quickly labelled a trouble-maker, he is later indentured as a hired hand to a farm family. The farmer beats him, clothes him in rags, and treats him like a slave, often working him to exhaustion without food or water. Remarkably, Razor struggles to attend high school and begins to dream of another life, but first he must endure the darkest and most vicious attack yet. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780873514392

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