Bullet heart

Front Cover
Knopf, Jun 1, 1994 - Fiction - 315 pages
1 Review
On the Great Plains, war has finally broken out: Indians fighting whites, resisting insult and internment, even spilling blood among their own rival camps. This is not the nineteenth century but 1972, when the construction of a golf course (of all things) unearths a forgotten frontier cemetery. The bones of settlers are laid reverently to rest, while those of a lone Sioux girl are shipped as "artifacts" to a South Dakota state museum - igniting the adjacent reservation hamlet and commencing what comes to be known as the Bones War. With the siege of Wounded Knee resonating in every heart all around, modern-day warriors and turncoats on either side cruise the prairie in pickups sprouting rifles; FBI agents and the local powers that be look askance or in horror not only at this specter but also at the newly armed AIM civil rights movement. Bullet Heart traces the lives and dreams of those who live or die, whether in Wilma (white) or Choteau (red), for the twenty years through which this war rages: Indians who leave "the res" but cannot escape it, and those whose different politics or generations divide them more surely than their enemy; a white man who wants mysteriously to be an Indian, and the scion who would destroy his own family legacy in order to remedy past (deeply personal) wrongs. And, finally, a child touched by a bullet and shaped by the troubled love of his parents. A tortured history of the West, an acute and comprehensive portrait of both reservation life and the recent bloody Indian wars, Bullet Heart is truly a saga of those bound up in this nightmarish dynamic of destiny and conquest and ownership. Immediate and painful, at once thoroughly American and simply human, thisnovel reinvents a classic and complicated showdown: the battle for the land, of course, and for a way of life.

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Bullet heart

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In the reservation town of Choteaux, South Dakota, a pioneer graveyard is unearthed in the process of constructing a golf course. The bones of the whites are re-interred on sacred ground, but those of ... Read full review


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