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Morning the Sun Went Down, The Paperback – July 1, 1998
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When his father lost his job in town, Wilson, age six, moved with his parents and siblings to a dilapidated country cabin, where he found richness in a life closer to nature. He learned to hunt and fish as his Native American ancestors had, "tamed" rattlesnakes with his brothers, and gloried in the Elders' legends about Silver Fox and Old Coyote. But the pastoral interlude was short-lived. When his mother and one of his brothers were killed in a car accident, the family fell apart, and Wilson became a foster child, unable to bend his spirit to the demands of a white community. In this collection of intricate, loosely connected childhood memories, Wilson recalls, with both stark bitterness and affection, his growing up caught between cultures and his struggle to find a place of his own. Laced with dreams, legends, and a scattering of words from the Iss/Aw'te language, his heartfelt recollections take us on a vivid personal journey to a place few of us will have visited--and none will soon forget. Stephanie Zvirin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
paper 0-930588-81-9 A slim, modest, and altogether extraordinary memoir of rural Native American life. Wilson, a poet and scholar from the Achumawe and Atsugewi tribes of northeastern California, came into adolescence in the mid-1950s, when his people had all but disappeared through assimilation or extermination. Blame for part of that disappearance he lays squarely at the door of whites; but, he adds, the neglect of our Elders to teach us our traditions was equally damaging. His own parents did their best to teach Wilson and his siblings something of the old ways: how to hunt deer, how to tame rattlesnakes, how to listen for mountain lions, lessons that he imparts to his readers with precision and graceand not a little humor. But when his mother and younger brother were killed in a collision with a logging truck, Wilson was sent off to live with white foster parents among unfriendly neighbors (he remembers, touchingly, one young girl who did not accuse me with her eyes or attitude, principally because we were not enemies''). When it appeared that his foster parents wanted to strip away his Indian identity, Wilson rebelled, for which he was sent off to a boarding school where the young California Indian charges were locked in their rooms at night and punished by day for minor infractions. Wilson recounts these horrors matter-of-factly but doesnt dwell on them; instead, he celebrates a teacher who sagely corrected his compositions, encouraged him to improve himself, and urged him to become a writer. Readers have reason to be grateful to that teacher as well. Wilson is a careful and compassionate observer of his life and those of other young Indians, and his book is a fine addition to the growing library of Native American autobiography. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Darryl is a terrific storyteller. I have read many memoirs over the years and this one packs a powerful punch. What I liked best about this book was his ability to tell stories from his childhood and capturing what it's like to be a kid and think like a kid.
I received a free copy of this book and that is my honest review.