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The Grass Dancer Paperback – April 1, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The individual stories tell the larger one of Native Americans, in particular the Sioux, and their battles, both physical and metaphysical, with the white men who invaded their land. This is not a historical novel, however, but rather a lyrically psychological one, where myth becomes fact. The pivotal legend that embraces all the characters in The Grass Dancer is the one of Red Dress, a Sioux woman with breath the scent of plums and a spirit that guides a long line of women to their destinies, both tragic and exhilarating. Charlene, a direct descendent from Red Dress, is in love with Harley, a descendent of Red Dress's husband Ghost Horse. But Harley keeps in his heart the spirit of another woman. Charlene's grandmother, Mercury, uses Red Dress's magic to control men and to wrest Charlene from her mother. Lydia, who is mute by choice, survives her husband and son, dead because of her anger with the magic of Red Dress.Read more ›
Power recreates the world of magic and spirituality in a tapestry of beautiful language and webs of stories. "The Grass Dancer" is about the traditions of the Dakota Indian people-both past and present-and the narrative switches from one narrator to another, giving us multiple perspectives into the lives of these characters. The chapters go back in time, so that events unfold in front of our eyes, making the present situation of these characters understandable. Each character seems to be finding a way to be complete, and at the end of almost each chapter, each one of them sprouts strong and resilient, like grass that is hard to pull out. Power brings us in a journey through time and space, illustrating the power of imagination, such as the possibility of walking on the moon.
Grass serves as a symbol of power, particularly Indian power. Dancing becomes a way in which an Indian keeps his or her hopes up, making it a dance that is imbued with a kind of survival energy. Power's message in this book can be summed up in this sentence, where she writes, "...look at the magic. There is still magic in the world."
This book is infused with humor to keep you interested, and spirituality to keep you inspired. The presence of love among characters is so moving that it will stir your emotions.Read more ›
I was prepared to give this book a "3 Star" rating until I noticed how well the author pulled things together towards the end. I had made the mistake of reading the book one story at a time spaced in between my other reading. I finished the last third of the book in a day's time and was able to catch the inter-relationships of the stories. Still, I was not as drawn into the spiritual magic as others may be. I don't discredit this phenomena but I suspect there are others who will get more out of the book than I did. I did enjoy a lot of the local flavor. I don't ever recall seeing any other novel that mentioned my wife's hometown of Mandaree, North Dakota. I have come to appreciate that there is a real element of spiritual magic through her Hidatsa/Mandan roots. Of the many stories and incidents that she has shared with me, I do vividly recall the night after her mother's funeral. My wife expressed her aprehension about going to bed that night because she was sure her mother's spirit would come to visit. That night, about 2AM, our house dog started barking.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had to read this book for class and let me just say... it was pointless. I would have never picked this book to read on my own. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Siera Minton
The author tells the stories of the reservation dwellers from the 1800's to the present a chapter at a time. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Darrel Drumm
The characters in this book are exceptionally well developed and I really liked how it went back through time and generations to give context to the current events. Read morePublished on February 8, 2014 by Margaret Smith
This is one of the greatest novels I have read in along time. In fact after reading it, I ordered 5 for Christmas and gave as gifts.Published on January 2, 2014 by frances sims
This book was sent on time and was in very good condition. It isn't something I would normally read but I'm glad I did. I learned a lot about the Sioux.Published on April 26, 2013 by Patty Polvino
When I did field work among the Lower Brule, I witnessed several events I never reported for fear of being ridiculed. Read morePublished on August 15, 2012 by ernest schusky
I would recommend this book even though most of my reading is Non-Fiction. This book has quite a bit of truth to it and I enjoyed it very much. Read morePublished on October 13, 2011 by DSB
Loved this although its taken me 10 years of ownership to read. Glad I kept it. A connected collection of short stories about modern Sioux life that makes up a single narrative. Read morePublished on September 9, 2011 by Jane Routley