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In a collection by the author of The Grass Dancer, a Sioux spirit travels the night sky in search of good dreams that are rendered true when he consumes them, from a Sioux elder's hope to return to her prairie home to a Harvard student's reevaluation of the learning process.

Roofwalker, made up of a unique combination of fiction and nonfiction, or "stories" and "histories," reveals the ways that native traditions and beliefs work in the lives of characters who live far from the reservation—and in the author’s own life. Many of the "histories" repeat subjects and themes found in the "stories," making Roofwalker a book in which spirits and the living commingle and Sioux culture and modern life collide with disarming power, humor, and joy.

The first seven pieces in the book are "stories," fictional accounts primarily of girls and women. In the title story, a young girl believes in the power of the "roofwalker" spirit to make her dreams come true. In "Beaded Souls," a woman is cursed by the sin of her great-grandfather, an Indian policeman who arrested Sitting Bull. "First Fruits" follows a native girl’s first-year at Harvard.

The nonfiction pieces include Power’s imaginary account of the meeting of her Phi Beta Kappa father and Sioux mother, a piece about the letters of an Irish ancestor and another in which Power and her mother visit the Field Museum in Chicago, where a native ancestor’s dress is on display.

ISBN-13: 9781571310415

Media Type: Paperback(First Trade Paper Edition)

Publisher: Milkweed Editions

Publication Date: 08-10-2004

Pages: 224

Product Dimensions: 5.25(w) x 7.50(h) x (d)

Series: Milkweed National Fiction Prize