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The Heartsong of Charging Elk
A Novel
Written by James Welch

The Heartsong of Charging Elk
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Category: Fiction - Literary
Imprint: Anchor
Format: Trade Paperback
Pub Date: October 2001
Price: $16.95
Can. Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-0-385-49675-9 (0-385-49675-3)
Pages: 448



 
Charging Elk, an Oglala Sioux, joins Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and journeys from the Black Hills of South Dakota to the back streets of nineteenth-century Marseille. Left behind in a Marseille hospital after a serious injury while the show travels on, he is forced to remake his life alone in a strange land. He struggles to adapt as well as he can, while holding on to the memories and traditions of life on the Plains and eventually falling in love. But none of the worlds the Indian has known can prepare him for the betrayal that follows. This is a story of the American Indian that we have seldom seen: a stranger in a strange land, often an invisible man, loving, violent, trusting, wary, protective, and defenseless against a society that excludes him but judges him by its rules. At once epic and intimate, The Heartsong of Charging Elk echoes across time, geography, and cultures.

"One of the year's best works of fiction."-Chicago Tribune

"Moving.... Absorbing.... Magnificently imagined."—The Boston Globe

"Brilliant.... A masterpiece.... Charging Elk [is] one of the most resonant characters of our current literature."—Star Tribune

"Ambitious, moving and altogether nourishing.... Welch's novel moves with sensual grace.... A novel with an expansiveness of heart and mind, an intimate analogue of Indian estrangement worthy of any readerly voyage."—Chicago Sun-Times

"Powerful.... An engaging, pointed, heartfelt examination of culture clash and the debilitating effects of otherness."—San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle

"Vivid [and] evocative.... A story of survival.... It’s a familiar story, but Welch takes the conceit one step further, creating a Wild West show of his own."—Los Angeles Times Book Review



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 
James Welch is the author of four previous novels, including Fools Crow, which won the American Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He attended schools on the Blackfeet and Fort Belknap reservations and studied writing under the legendary teacher Richard Hugo. He lives with his wife in Missoula, Montana.





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