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Die Grastänzer by Susan Power
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Die Grastänzer (edition 1997)

by Susan Power

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5141328,618 (3.83)46
Member:evareads
Title:Die Grastänzer
Authors:Susan Power
Info:Goldmann (1997), Broschiert
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:other cultures, love, german

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The Grass Dancer by Susan Power

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» See also 46 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
One of the reasons I write "reviews" is to help jog my memory down the road when I might want to reread a book or mention it in relation to another book. But then there are stories so immediately embedded in my brain I know I won't need any reminders no matter how long it's been since I first read it. The Grass Dancer is one of those stories. It was also one of those where I would read a passage I wanted to bookmark but couldn't make myself stop reading long enough to do so.

I loved how the story started off in 1981 with Charlene Thunder and Harley Wind Soldier, then progressed in reverse chronology, until the story of Red Dress in 1864. The story then circles back to Charlene Thunder in 1981 before concluding in 1982. Through the young Sioux's ancestry, showing how their paths have been influenced and affected by the events set in motion before they were born. Anna/Mercury Thunder! Right up till her backstory was revealed, I couldn't believe how much she'd gotten away with, how much pain she'd inflicted for personal gain. But her story deeply affected me, made me question how many of us in her position would choose power over pain, revenge over forgiveness? Would she do it differently if she could step away and see the whole picture? Hindsight and all that.

Highly recommended to readers looking for multi-generational stories by Indigenous authors, especially fans of Louise Erdrich.

4.5 stars ( )
  flying_monkeys | Feb 4, 2017 |
Challenging but worthwhile exploration of some of the historical, mystical, and generation influences on the Lakota of the northern plains. I've enclosed (in the copy I released via bookcrossing) printouts of a couple of brief reviews that I wish I'd read before I read the book as said reviews would've helped me understand what I was getting into better. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
@ Indians, Spirits etc. — @ beliefs — good

Inspired by the lore of her Sioux heritage, this critically-acclaimed novel from Susan Power weaves the stories of the old and the young, of broken families, romantic rivals, men and women in love and at war. Revealing the harsh price of unfulfilled longings and the healing power of mystery and hope, The Grass Dancer takes readers on a journey through past and present-in a tale as resonant and haunting as an ancestor's memory, and as promising as a child's dream.
1 vote | christinejoseph | Mar 1, 2016 |
Native American tales told in reverse chronological order. Lots of myth and mysticism. Very interesting. I enjoyed it very much. I think it might make for a good book-group discussion. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 8, 2016 |
Grass Dancer doesn't have a plot. It doesn't have a main character. It doesn't have a linear timeline. At best, I would call it a mishmash of stories with interconnected characters, most from the same family. Grass Dancer as a whole is a shape shifter. With multiple points of view bouncing from first person to third and timelines that are all over the place (1981, 1964, 1935, and 1969 are important dates), it is hard to stay focused on the main purpose of the story. What I found most disheartening is that I would grow attached to a character (like Pumpkin) and then the story would move away from him or her. Most characters came back, but in impersonal ways. Wait until you read what happens to Pumpkin! This is not to say I didn't enjoy Power's writing. She inserted some surprises along the way that I wasn't expecting and she stayed true to the cultures, legends and myths of the Sioux Indians which I appreciated. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Nov 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Power's strong debut ...sense of story, her effective use of characters and plots... some telling unevenness...
Power's generations all face tremendous challenges in whatever time and place they happen to find themselves... the task of finding a way ... in a world where life and its challenges can end in a moment.
added by juniperSun | editWorld Literature Today, Robert Allen Warrior (Feb 28, 1995)
 
She chooses to represent indigenous history not as a record of defeat but rather as a continuing process whose outcome is still uncertain. The past and the spirit world lie within and around the present.
added by juniperSun | editThe Women's Review of Books, Linda Niemann (Jan 1, 1995)
 
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Epigraph
Shush, we have too many stories
to carry on our backs like houses
Joy Harjo, In Mad Love and war
Dedication
To my mother, Susan Kelly Power,
who told me the stories.
In lvoing memory of my father, Carleton Gilmore Power,
who read them to me every night.

And for the great ladies who gave me keys to two cities
my grandmothers
Josephine Gates Kelly and Marjorie Gilmore Power.
First words
When Harley saw his father, Calvin Wind Soldier, and his brother, Duane, in dreams, they were wearing crowns of glass.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
From the back:
From the lore of her people, the Sioux [Lakota], Susan Power has forged a remarkable novel, rich with drama and infused with the magic of the everyday. Set on a North Dakota reservation,
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425159531, Paperback)

Inspired by the lore of her Sioux heritage, this critically-acclaimed novel from Susan Power weaves the stories of the old and the young, of broken families, romantic rivals, men and women in love and at war. Revealing the harsh price of unfulfilled longings and the healing power of mystery and hope, The Grass Dancer takes readers on a journey through past and present-in a tale as resonant and haunting as an ancestor's memory, and as promising as a child's dream.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:36 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In the 1860s Ghost Horse and Red Dress, Dakota Indians, are in love but she dies young. In modern days, their descendants, Harley Wind Soldier and Charlene Thunder are also star crossed.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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