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Roofwalker Roofwalker made up of a uniue combination of fiction and nonfiction or stories and histories reveals the ways that native traditions and beliefs work in the lives of characters who live far from the reservation—and in the author’s own life Many of the histories repeat subjects and themes found in the stories making Roofwalker a book that in which spirits and the living commingle and Sioux culture and modern life collide with disarming power humor and joy The first seven pieces in the book are stories fictional accounts primarily of girls and women In the title story a young girl believes in the power of the roofwalker spirit to make her dreams come true In Beaded Souls a woman is cursed by the sin of her great grandfather an Indian policeman who arrested Sitting Bull First Fruits follows a native girl’s first year at Harvard The nonfiction pieces include Power’s imaginary account of the meeting of her Phi Beta Kappa father and Sioux mother a piece about the letters of an Irish ancestor and another in which Power and her mother visit the Field Museum in Chicago where a native ancestor’s dress is on display

  • Paperback
  • 224 pages
  • Roofwalker
  • Susan Power
  • English
  • 08 May 2016
  • 9781571310415

About the Author: Susan Power

Susan Power is a Standing Rock Sioux author from Chicago She earned her bachelor's degree from Harvard University and a JD from Harvard Law School After a short career in law she decided to become a writer starting her career by earning an MFA from the Iowa Writer's WorkshopHer fellowships include an Iowa Arts Fellowship James Michener Fellowship Radcliffe Bunting Institute Fellowship Prin

10 thoughts on “Roofwalker

  1. says:

    Susan Power is a special writer Roofwalker collects seven of her short stories and five of her histories all circling Chicago The short stories explore how Native Americans have adapted to Anglo European America both in the past and the present It's hard for me to pick favorites here You have stories about the mythic roofwalker that eats dreams stories of love and betrayal and death a story about a man who finds a talking saint statue in a thrift store another about a college student that finds unexpected friendships They're all really lovely sweet and sad but not bittersweet in any way there's no bitterness here it seems to me The histories shed light on where Power as a writer comes from In Museum Indian she explores how it feels to have your family's history taken and put on display without permission It made me think deeply about my own museum experiences Mostly she explores how her mother gave her a voice to tell stories and how her father circled their lives and gave her a different kind of ancestry Highly recommend for anyone who enjoys short stories magical realism and Native American history Also check out The Grass Dancer and Sacred Wilderness her two novels

  2. says:

    Wow finally finished this one after it was on hold for almost a year I am definitely a fan of Susan Power particularly her fiction although I love how her histories and her inventions are so closely bound together in this volume That seems like the most honest move a writer can make You can't really ever separate your life experiences from your imagined onesFavorite story has to be Angry Fish So much love for that story that it seems a disservice to the writing to explain why I like it you must read it and let Susan Power explain it to you

  3. says:

    I came across this book while searching for the authors award winning book The Grass Dancer which I still have to read After sampling her writing I would read ANYTHING this author writes Roofwalker is a collection of short stories centering on Native American culture mainly about women and children The stories at the end are non fiction I believe some memories some story telling in how the author came to grow up in Chicago Exceptional writing and story telling

  4. says:

    Wonderful I mean every single story and essay My only uestion is why didn't I read this sooner?

  5. says:

    Beautiful sad and moving stories from a talented author

  6. says:

    I read Susan Power’s novel The Grass Dancer which was published in 1994 and won the PENHemingway prize for first novel but I hadn’t followed her hadn’t thought about her in years She seemed to me to have disappeared from the literary scene after that well received debut I didn’t know about a second novel Sacred Wilderness that was published in 2014 by Michigan State University Press or this slim book of short stories and essays put out by an independent non profit publisher in 2002 I have Dan to thank for bringing this one to my attention This book consists of seven short stories and five essays referred to as ‘histories’ Power a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe was born and raised in Chicago and surely draws from experience Most of the stories are set in Chicago and her characters are Native American Like Tommy Orange’s excellent debut There There Power's stories are about Urban Native Americans Hoever Power’s lovely prose is akin to Louise Erhdrich’s than Orange’s The uestions of identity are ones they both share the struggle to integrate into a modern world without losing one’s sense of history and heritage One story First Fruits set at Harvard Power is a graduate of Harvard and Harvard Law school is particularly good in addressing the issues of balancing two separate worlds and was one of my favorites The essays which are autobiographical in nature are excellent They could easily be mistaken for short stories had Power not separated them as ‘Histories’ I actually liked the five short pieces better than the fictional pieces and I think Power might have an excellent memoir inside her that she should explore As I wrote earlier I wouldn't have known about this book were it not for Dan He was kind enough to bring it back as a gift from his visit to Louise Erdrich’s Birchbark Books Dan chi miigwech

  7. says:

    For a short book of short stories this volume packs a punch There are some gorgeously imagined narratives in this text my favorite being that of the Winnebago man who finds a live St Jude statue in his girlfriend's thrift store and who teaches him Lakota while writing down the saint's poetry It's an almost fond critiue of the church funny while making a dozen points about the hierarchy of Catholicism and the bureaucracy of priests and I love the idea of St Jude growing fat and content on the smell of soup but not eating any because he doesn't need earthly sustenance First Fruits is a fantastic story of a young Indian woman going to Harvard and discovering the spirits of other Indians there the first who graduated from the Indian College built in 1655 The text weaves back and forth between different Indian communities past and present time bending and circling and bending again all through the written word through the English the first graduate tries to throw back; through the English paper George writes about the spirits that walk campus; through the postcard her father sends of Mount Rush I love that it's a world that can expand and show of itself rather than contract and trap as is the lot of so many of the protagonists in the early stories in this book Yet even those are beautiful especially the unnamed narrator who tells the story of her last weeks in a nursing home before the rolling prairies welcome her back and she is young again a child who speaks only Dakota

  8. says:

    This book of short stories and memories is a treasure the kind of magic portal into unfamiliar places people and ways of thinking that makes story telling an art The language and images are powerful and beautiful one right on the heels of the next They pop into mu moind on the bbs and haunt my dreams Yet the language does not call attention to itself in a way the distracts from the stories I love the way the worlds of the living and the dead touch and blur and the easy juxtaposition of the every day and the mystical I particularly enjoy the deeper sense the book gives of growing up Sioux on the Dakota Reservations and in Chicago And several of the characters feel like real people I'd love to share a meal and a walk with For me this book was a perfect match one that goes on my favorites list and hopefully on my shelff to keep someday

  9. says:

    I really enjoyed this collection of short stories Power—who is herself a Standing Rock Sioux—writes about contemporary Native Americans who have left reservations for cities especially Chicago and universities in the early to mid 20th century and about their children I especially enjoyed the tale about the tiny statue of St Jude coming to life and learning Lakota and the story about the young Indian woman who goes to Harvard and discovers the spirits of the other Indians who have been there before her As is the case with all short story collections some were successful than others yet all of them feel easily and inextricably linked to one another by Power's clear and lucid prose

  10. says:

    After each story in Roofwalker I kept having to flip back and look at the copyright date This book has been out SIX years and I'm only now finding it? This should have hit my radar right away These are short stories about Indians by a Dakota author and many have urban Indian characters living in Chicago The prose is just gorgeous without weighing down the story and they're so beautifully crafted I know I'll end up reading this again I have the feeling I won't be as crazy about her novel Grass Dancer but it's going in the ueue for sure

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