People of the Whale: A Novel

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2008 - Fiction - 303 pages
5 Reviews
Raised in a remote seaside village, Thomas Witka Just marries Ruth, his beloved since infancy. But an ill-fated decision to fight in Vietnam changes his life forever: cut off from his Native American community, he fathers a child with another woman. When he returns home a hero, he finds his tribe in conflict over the decision to hunt a whale, both a symbol of spirituality and rebirth and a means of survival. In the end, he reconciles his two existences, only to see tragedy befall the son he left behind.

Linda Hogan, called our most provocative Native American writer, with "her unparalleled gifts for truth and magic" (Barbara Kingsolver), has written a compassionate novel about the beauty of the natural world and the painful moral choices humans make in it. With a keen sense of the environment, spirituality, and the trauma of war, People of the Whale is a powerful novel for our times.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Bibliofemmes - LibraryThing

As a group we loved the fluidity of the writing and language, the lullaby sense of ebb and flow. Hogan examines the themes of heroism, community and spirituality through the eyes of gender. The male ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Laurenbdavis - LibraryThing

This is one of those books I'm going to re-read. It's just so RICH. The writing is astounding, and the story is compelling. Such wisdom and healing - wide and deep as the sea, and the whales and the ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Prologue
9
Octopus
15
Deathless
26
Body Lies
45
The Wife of Marco Polo
52
The Son of Thomas
59
Ruth
64
1988
66
He Goes Beneath
158
Out There
164
Lightyears
181
Human
207
Home
238
The Names
243
Ruth Watching
258
Department of the Army Rooms
261

Hunt
86
Dark Houses
101
He Builds the Fence
111
The Rain Priest
124
After the Rain
155
The Day of Tranquillity
267
The Man Who Killed the Whale
282
Stirrings Underneath
288
Acknowledgments
303
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Linda Hogan was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for her novel Mean Spirit. Her other honors include an American Book Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in Tishomingo, Oklahoma.

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