Beth Brant Food and Spirits

ISBN 13: 9780932379924

Food and Spirits

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9780932379924: Food and Spirits
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Eight stories deal with homecoming, endurance, loss, grief, tradition, and survival

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Review:

The plot devices in these eight short stories sometimes seem taken from a notebook for the politically correct: disenfranchised Native Americans, a young man returning home to die of AIDS, a battered wife, a lesbian alcoholic mother who loses custody of her child. Never mind. Author Brant, a Mohawk and Canadian who has lived much of her life in Michigan, avoids the traps she's set for herself. She has a deft feel for that hardest of arts to master: characterization. Her people, revealed to us through subtleties of dialogue and action, become so real it's impossible to regard them as metaphors. Brant's strength is not for dramatic action and the two stories that rely on it 'Wild Turkeys " and "This Place" suffer for it. The strongest stories here play to the author's strength: a talent for capturing the shining moments of ordinary life. In "Home Coming" a dying heron serves as the burning glass in which past and present meet. In 'A Death in the Family, " a young girl struggles with lipstick and hairbrush to make her mother as beautiful in death as in life. In "Swimming Upstream " a former alcoholic watches a battered salmon leap from rock to rock and glimpses her dead son's face in the magic glide of dark waters. Simple language, powerful. images, good work. -- From Independent Publisher

From Publishers Weekly:

Most of these sensitive, engaging tales set in Canada explore the private tragedies and triumphs of Native Americans. The exception, "This Is History," offers a woman-focused account of the origins of Turtle Island (the Earth) in which Sky Woman (the moon) and her daughter/companion First Woman share the "naming" tasks central to creation tales. In "Wild Turkeys," a woman visiting her hometown is shaken when a chance encounter brings back vivid memories of an abusive relationship she fled. The title story tells of 80-year-old Elijah Powless, determined to see his twin granddaughters in the "big city." Armed only with innocent charm and a bag of homemade fry bread, he travels to Detroit, making friends and allies of all whom he meets. Several of Brant's ( The Mohawk Trail ) stories consider the need to come to terms with death: in "This Place," a medicine man whose "good medicine" ranges from butter tarts and old Hank Williams songs to a snakeskin and chanting helps a gay man afflicted with AIDS find the courage to "see death coming and run to meet it."
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780932379931: Food & Spirits: Stories

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0932379931 ISBN 13:  9780932379931
Publisher: Firebrand Books, 1991
Hardcover

9780889740327: Food and Spirits

Rainco..., 1991
Softcover

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