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Buffalo Spirits Paperback – October 9, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


Part Native American lore, part ecological treatise, part mystical odyssey, and, perhaps, part autobiography, Black's debut novel leads her readers along unexpected paths. Rebecca grows up in western Kansas in the 1950s, moves to Chicago, and becomes a successful journalist, but behind this normalcy lies a moody, nomadic soul. As a child she communes with Gentle Wind, her "spirit sister" who lived on her family's land a century earlier. Rebecca loses touch with Gentle Wind but keeps her fierce allegiance to the plains. Whenever she returns home, Rebecca is angered at the changes time has wrought, giving Black numerous chances to rail against cattle feedlots, over-irrigated fields, and strip mining. Interspersed chapters written in the voice of Gentle Wind recount the great buffalo slaughter from 1865 to 1875 and the gradual demise of the Plains Indians, culminating in their removal to an Oklahoma reservation. Black has packed a few extraneous side plots into her debut, but the end result is a poignant family saga and an enlightening history lesson. --Deborah Donovan, American Library Association

Buffalo Spirits is filled with affection for the Great Plains and the extraordinary people bound to it. Insightful and disturbing, Elizabeth Black's first novel confronts the problems faced by farm families struggling to stay on the land they love. --Senator Bob Dole

Black offers a moving, and justifiably tragic, depiction of the fate of the farmers, land, slaughtered buffalo, and feedlot-incarcerated cattle of the Great Plains. --Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Elizabeth Black is the award-winning journalist, editor and author whose credits include the prize-winning novel Buffalo Spirits and frequent contributions to leading publications worldwide. Black's prize-winning, bestselling novel is Buffalo Spirits (Dialog Press 2006). Her works of journalism and commentary have appeared in such publications as Moment, Lawrence Journal World, Chicago Magazine, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine, Chicago Daily News, Denver Post, and The Cutting Edge News. Her syndicated column Back to the Middle appeared regularly in the Lawrence Journal World during 2007-2008. Black has also edited or co-written numerous books of history, politics and health policy, including several award-winning or New York Times bestselling editions. Her many magazine efforts include editor of Chicago Monthly, Great American Pace, Stride Magazine, and OS/2 Magazine, as well as several trade publication. Her numerous book awards include: the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Writing Residency Award in 2005, the Three Oaks Prize for Fiction for Buffalo Spirits in 2003, and Finalist in the William Faulkner Novel Awards for Buffalo Spirits in 2002.

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Dialog Press (October 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0914153048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0914153047
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Customer Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars7 customer ratings
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,562,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Reviewed in the United States on August 30, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on August 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover