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The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams

Nasdijj, .; Nasdijj

ISBN 10: 0618048928 / ISBN 13: 9780618048922
Published by Houghton Mifflin, 2000
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

0618048928 Acclaimed first book by this Native-American author. Dj blurbs by Rick Bass, Howard Frank Moser, Edward Hoagland, etc. Bookseller Inventory # 008562

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Blood Runs Like a River Through My ...

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

THE BLOOD RUNS LIKE A RIVER THROUGH MY DREAMS transports readers to the majestic landscapes and hard Native American lives of the desert Southwest and into the embrace of a way of looking at the world that seems almost like revelation. Born to a storytelling Native mother and a roughneck, song-singing cowboy father, Nasdijj has lived on the jagged-edged margins of American society, yet hardship and isolation have only brought him greater clarity--and a gift for language that is nothing short of breathtaking.
Nasdijj tells of his adopted son, Tommy Nothing Fancy, of the young boy's struggle with fetal alcohol syndrome, and of their last fishing trip together. It is a heartbreaking story, written with great power and a diamondlike poetry. But whether Nasdijj is telling us about his son, about the chaotic, alternately harrowing and comical life he led with his own parents, or about the vitality and beauty of Native American culture, his voice is always one of searching honesty, wry humor, and a nearly cosmic compassion. While Nasdijj struggles with his impossible status as someone of two separate cultures, he also remains a contradiction in a larger sense: he cares for those who often shun him, he teaches hope though he often has none for himself, and he comes home to the land he then must leave.
THE BLOOD RUNS LIKE A RIVER THROUGH MY DREAMS is the memoir of a man who has survived a hard life with grace, who has taken the past experience of pain and transformed it into a determination to care for the most vulnerable among us, and who has found an almost unspeakable beauty where others would find only sadness. This is a book that will touch your soul.

Review:

The language and form of this searing book are as powerful as the life experience that inspired them. In a series of essays that cohere into a spiritual autobiography, the author writes prose that's deceptively simple yet rich in metaphor. An wild horse living in the parking lot of a Navajo school becomes a symbol for living creatures' intrinsic wildness, tamed only at a terrible cost. "We are all runaway horses" is one constant refrain, as is the reminder "you are your history." The author's history is painful: born in 1950 the son of an alcoholic Native American woman and a white cowboy father who "would sell my mom to other migrant men for five dollars," Nasdijj grew up a "mongrel" and an outcast, contending with his violent father's demons while his mother beguiled them with Indian stories. Living on a reservation, never fully accepted because of his white skin, he adopted a baby boy with fetal alcohol syndrome who died at age 6. The book's most beautiful passages meditate on Tommy Nothing Fancy's short life and express his father's love. Nasdijj has been homeless, he has taught Indian children on a reservation, he has retraced with a historian friend the dreadful forced march to Bosque Redondo, where the Navajo and their culture were nearly exterminated. These and many other ordeals are related in the agonizingly lucid words of someone who has turned to writing as a lifeline. This remarkable memoir has its share of bitterness and anger, but Nasdijj transcends both in his acceptance of the world that made him and in the knowledge that "the reservation runs like blood through a river of my dreams." --Wendy Smith

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