I don’t know why I bring books to my parent’s house, I never lack for reading material when I go visit. My dad handed me Fools Crow this past trip and told me I should read it, so like any book lover I immediately started reading it. It is very good. It’s not an easy book, and I’m sure there are a lot of things that a more close reading could tease out it, but I really enjoyed it. The book is one that I suggest you take your time with, it’s dense reading and I think if you blow through it you’re likely to miss out on a lot. I kept having to take breaks in order to let my brain think through the imagery and the story.
The book is set in the 1870s and follows a young Pikuni (Blackfeet) man for a couple of years as the encroaching white settlers change the way of life he knows. It’s a melancholy book, as it is about a way of life that is dying, but also hopeful in that Fools Crow, our protagonist, knows his people will survive somehow. There are elements of magical realism in the book, Fools Crow has visions and dreams taken literally by the book, but for the most part it’s very grounded in the nomadic life of the Plains Indians. Also, despite the book being written in English, there is a sense of translation about it. This is a story about a culture foreign to most native English speakers, and the language and cadence of the book get that across.
This is definitely worth picking up.