Rez Life by David Treuer
An Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life

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Synopsis

Celebrated novelist David Treuer has gained a reputation for writing fiction that expands the horizons of Native American literature. In Rez Life, his first full-length work of nonfiction, Treuer brings a novelist’s storytelling skill and an eye for detail to a complex and subtle examination of Native American reservation life, past and present.

With authoritative research and reportage, Treuer illuminates misunderstood contemporary issues of sovereignty, treaty rights, and natural-resource conservation. He traces the waves of public policy that have disenfranchised and exploited Native Americans, exposing the tension that has marked the historical relationship between the United States government and the Native American population. Through the eyes of students, teachers, government administrators, lawyers, and tribal court judges, he shows how casinos, tribal government, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs have transformed the landscape of Native American life.

A member of the Ojibwe of northern Minnesota, Treuer grew up on Leech Lake Reservation, but was educated in mainstream America. Exploring crime and poverty, casinos and wealth, and the preservation of native language and culture, Rez Life is a strikingly original work of history and reportage, a must read for anyone interested in the Native American story.
 

About David Treuer

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David Treuer is the author of three novels-Little, The Hiawatha, and The Translation of Dr. Appeles-and Native American Fiction: A User's Manual, a book of essays. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota.
 
Published February 1, 2012 by Atlantic Monthly Press. 352 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Treuer also delves into the issues surrounding Native American sovereignty and treaty rights, examining the inhumane—and sometimes genocidal—government policies that have led to the systematic abuse, exploitation and disenfranchisement of Native Americans.

Nov 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Rez Life: An Indian's Journey...

Publishers Weekly

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or the timeless method for harvesting wild rice, Treuer paints a picture of a vital if economically strained tribal life, deftly supplying historical context to explain how the Mille Lacs, Red Lake, and White Earth reservations came to be and survive.

Oct 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Rez Life: An Indian's Journey...

Kirkus Reviews

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With Rez Life that meant finding a whole new way of seeing reservations and reservation life—not just as something survived but something lived, not just as places of poverty but of wealth, and our task, our job as not merely surviving but of triumphing.

Jan 31 2012 | Read Full Review of Rez Life: An Indian's Journey...

Star Tribune

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Writer, teacher and anthropologist David Treuer, who grew up on Minnesota's Leech Lake Reservation, is just the person to take us on this learned, wise and sometimes painful journey into modern Indian life. A striking and important book.

Feb 18 2012 | Read Full Review of Rez Life: An Indian's Journey...

Christian Science Monitor

“Leech Lake is a big reservation – forty miles by forty miles, peppered with lakes large and small, and broken in half by the slow shallow course of the northern Mississipi River,” writes David Treuer of the northern Minnesota Indian reservation that is his home.

Mar 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Rez Life: An Indian's Journey...

Dallas News

They don’t see the disorder of her bedside table or the way she can never locate the lids for her many dozens of travel mugs…They don’t see the worry that attends her thoughts about her remaining siblings, and the sorrow that clings to her memories of Barb, Sonny, her cousin Mikey, and her father...

Feb 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Rez Life: An Indian's Journey...

San Francisco Chronicle

Yet his discussions of Indian history - and matters of treaties, court cases and the like - as they pertain to his tribe and reservation are relevant to other tribes, since so much of U.S. Indian policy affects all tribes under its single rulings, and Treuer is quick to point this out.

Feb 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Rez Life: An Indian's Journey...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

and a sensitive, refreshing reading of treaty rights -- "treaty rights are the rights that the Indians who signed treaties always had, rights they explicitly reserved when they signed their treaties" -- including the critical inclusion of rights not specifically surrendered, as in "all rights res...

May 11 2012 | Read Full Review of Rez Life: An Indian's Journey...

City Book Review

Over time and the course of history, there has been a grim perception of what life must be like living on the various Indian reservations in America.

May 10 2012 | Read Full Review of Rez Life: An Indian's Journey...

Bookmarks Magazine

In Rez Life, his first full-length work of nonfiction, Treuer brings a novelist’s storytelling skill and an eye for detail to a complex and subtle examination of Native American reservation life, past and present.

With authoritative research and reportage, Treuer illuminates misunde...

Feb 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Rez Life: An Indian's Journey...

Time Out Chicago

And even as the Native American population grows, much of the culture and language is disappearing (roughly half of the 300 Native American languages now have no native speakers).

Feb 23 2012 | Read Full Review of Rez Life: An Indian's Journey...

High Country News

Accomplished novelist David Treuer turns to nonfiction in his latest book, which combines elements of his own life on "the rez" with a historical look at North American Indian life over the past several hundred years.

May 14 2012 | Read Full Review of Rez Life: An Indian's Journey...

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