On the Rez by Ian Frazier

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Synopsis

A great writer's journey of exploration in an American place that is both strange and deeply familiar.


In Ian Frazier's bestselling Great Plains, he described meeting a man in New York City named Le War Lance, "an Oglala Sioux Indian from Oglala, South Dakota." In On the Rez, Frazier returns to the plains and focuses on a place at their center-the Pine Ridge Reservation in the prairie and badlands of South Dakota, home of the Oglala Sioux. Frazier drives around "the rez" with Le War Lance and other Oglalas as they tell stories, visit relatives, go to powwows and rodeos and package stores, and try to find parts to fix one or another of their on-the-verge-of-working cars.


On the Rez considers Indian ideas of freedom and community and equality that are basic to how we view ourselves. Most of all, he examines the Indian idea of heroism-its suffering and its pulse-quickening, public-spirited glory. On the Rez portrays the survival, through toughness and humor, of a great people whose culture has shaped our American identity.

 

About Ian Frazier

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Ian Frazier is the author of Great Plains, The Fish’s Eye, On the Rez, Family, and Travels in Siberia, as well as Coyote v. Acme, Dating Your Mom, and Lamentations of the Father, all published by FSG. A frequent contributor to The New Yorker, he lives in Montclair, New Jersey.
 
Published January 10, 2000 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 340 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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As Frazier ponders the history of Indian bars locally and nationwide, or considers the treaty violation that allowed the US government to steal the Black Hills from the Sioux, he also finds resilience in the great-granddaughter of medicine man Black Elk, and hope in the remarkable story of SuAnne...

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Publishers Weekly

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When telling non-Indians that he was writing a book about the American Indian, Frazier (Great Plains, etc.) received a nearly unanimous reaction: that the subject sounds bleak. Oddly, he says, i

Jan 03 2000 | Read Full Review of On the Rez

Publishers Weekly

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When telling non-Indians that he was writing a book about the American Indian, Frazier (Great Plains, etc.) received a nearly unanimous reaction: that the subject sounds bleak.

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AV Club

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With Lance cast as a tour guide, On The Rez chronicles life on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, taking casual excursions through the arid expanse of land with a few slow days reserved to work on broken-down cars and the occasional jaunt to the dreaded White Clay, Nebraska, the closest ...

Mar 29 2002 | Read Full Review of On the Rez

BookPage

The average man is not an American Indian, however, and the American Indian, I must conclude after reading On the Rez, Ian Frazier's book about the Oglala Sioux of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, is not the average man.

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Project MUSE

Frazier does a good job of documenting his observations in a first-person narrative without injecting an objective lens that claims to understand what Frazier regards as most non-Indians' sentiment toward contemporary Indians: "Why can't they get with the program?"

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http://www.citypaper.com

Writer Ian Frazier quit The New Yorker in a huff a couple years back, when then-editor Tina Brown invited erstwhile comedian/national-anthem-shrieker Roseanne to guest-edit an issue of the revered weekly magazine.

Jan 26 2000 | Read Full Review of On the Rez

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