Canoe and Minnesota wild rice
Photo of canoe and wild rice by egasor used under a Creative Commons license.

Jim Northrup, Walking the Rez Road (Voyageur Press, 1993).
A collection of forty short stories and poems revolving around Luke Warmwater, a Chippewa/Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) Indian living on the Fond du Lac reservation in northern Minnesota, not far from Duluth. Some deal with Warmwater’s tour of duty in and return from Vietnam; most concern life on the reservation, with healthy doses of hunting, fishing, ricing, drinking, and outwitting an unsympathetic tribal government. Northrup never fails to find quotidian humor, and the resilient spirits of Warmwater and other Chippewas transforms the travails of life in their sovereign corner of Minnesota into something universal.

Here is Northrup’s bio on Native Wiki. Christine Graef profiled him in Indian Country Today, with a focus on his fishing and collecting of wild rice rather than his writing. Kristin Nybrotts has a poem by Northrup (and several links which look promising but don’t seem to work anymore). Eberhard Wenzel posted another poem by Northrup, from the book. Northrup writes is an a columnist for Indian Country Today, and here are many of his columns. Here, Northrup explains how he got his car. The book won a Minnesota Book Award in 1994.

Buy it at Amazon.com.

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