Monday, 23 February 2009

Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee

This week I've been re-reading Louise Erdrich who is part native American Indian and writes of native American Indian life in contemporary society. I now want to read Dee Brown's 1970 classic Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee. I know it's not going to be the cosy kind of book you read with a latte. It's going to be a brutal and harrowing account of a violent period in American history.

I rarely read non-fiction, but I need to read this book.


katiecrackernuts said...

Lovely to meet you. Thanks for popping by my blog. Ooooh, can't wait to see what you're reading. Will take a look through your blog a little later on. Lovely stuff.

_lethe_ said...

Looking forward to reading your review. This book has been on my TBR list ever since I became obsessed with Indians (and the "Wild West" in general) as a young teen.

The obsession was, as usual, relatively short-lived, but it has always remained an interest.

(About 15 years ago I bought a Folio book, Sakuntala, because they described it as an Indian myth. When the book arrived I was bitterly disappointed to find out that what they had meant was Asian Indian... I still haven't read it.)

Vintage Reading said...

lethe, hi, yes I have a huge interest in Native American Indians. Particularly the great chiefs, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse and Geronimo. I keep putting off reading, it though because some of the incidents are so traumatic, but I will review it.

claire said...

This sounds like something I would like to read.. Looking forward to what you think.

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

It is a great book and one that you should read given your interest in American history. I still have my copy (1971, 2nd printing) on my shelf; it's the kind of book that, once read, you never get rid of — or forget. Dee Brown's own history is fascinating if you can find an obit online. He died in 2002 and I have the New York Times obit tucked inside the front cover.

Here is where the title comes from:

"I have fallen in love with American names,
The sharp names that never get fat,
The snakeskin titles of mining claims,
The plumed war-bonnet of Medicine Hat,
Tucson and Deadwood and Lost Mule Flat ...
You may bury my body in Sussex grass,
You many bury my tongue at Champmedy.
I shall not be there. I shall rise and pass.
Bury my heart at Wounded Knee."
— Stephen Vincent Benet, American Names, 1927

Vintage Reading said...

Linda, that poem is beautiful. I've read that Dee Brown was not an American Indian himself but a librarian and scholar of American history.

I have heard that this book stays with you.