Geronimo's Bones: A Memoir of My Brother and Me

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Ballantine Books, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 299 pages
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In "Geronimo's Bones, award-winning author Nasdijj has written a love song to his brother, Tso--short for The Smarter One--and the powerful bond that sustained the two of them through the grim reality of their childhood. Filled with poetic intensity and unfiltered emotion, "Geronimo's Bones is a visceral reading experience.
Born to migrant parents--his father a self proclaimed "cowboy" and his Navajo mother, tender-hearted and flawed--Nasdijj knew little of the conformity spreading across America in the 1950s. He was busy surviving the migrant camps in Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, and North Carolina, where despair and death were familiar faces. Nasdijj and Tso were boys racing trains and demons, whispering tales about Spider Woman, Sa, Geromino, and Coyote, the stories of their mother's people that they had heard at bedtime. Nasdijj writes: "Geronimo is a voice who comes to me at night, when all the other creatures are asleep and the universe belongs to us."
After their mother's tragic death from alcohol, the young brothers were left in the care of their sometimes indifferent, often abusive, and occasionally loving father. Nasdijj and Tso rarely attended school, but they picked cotton, tomatoes, potatoes, apples, peaches, beans, and artichokes. To escape this indentured servitude, Nasdijj and Tso eventually stole a car and ran away.
Told in brilliant flashes of poetry, narrative, and song, "Geronimo's Bones reveals a world that to this day remains hidden from most Americans. But Nasdijj's work derives its special power from his ability to capture the universal emotions that we all share: hate and love, loss and remembrance.

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Geronimo's bones: a memoir of my brother and me

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This beautifully written memoir builds on Nasdijj's The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams and The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping, which both chronicle the author's love for his adopted sons ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Nasdijj was born in the American Southwest in 1950. His grew up partly on the reservation—his mother was Navajo—and partly in migrant camps around the country. He has been writing for decades, making ends meet by reporting for small-town papers, teaching, and migrant labor. He is the author of the critically acclaimed memoirs The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping and The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams, which was a New York Times Notable Book, a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, and winner of the Salon Book Award. “Nasdijj” is Athabaskan for “to become again.” He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

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