Skins by Adrian Louis

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Rudy Yellow Shirt, a full-blooded Oglala Sioux and a criminal investigator with the Pine Ridge Public Safety Department, spends most nights locking up drunk and disorderly Indians, frequently including his own ciye, his older brother Mogie. They live on the Pine Ridge Reservation, the home of Crazy Horse's tribe, where the Indian wars ended with the massacre at Wounded Knee, and where so many Oglala people try to maintain their ancient dignity while living on welfare checks and cans of surplus commodity foods distributed by the government. But when Rudy falls and hits his head on a rock, the spirit of Iktomi, the trickster, starts messing with his life.

Soon Rudy finds himself taking on the alter ego of the Avenging Warrior and dispensing swift vigilante justice to unlucky criminals. Then, one night, the Warrior decides to fire-bomb one of the liquor stores that hug the border of the reservation, and Iktomi plays his most diabolical trick, starting a chain of events that will change Rudy and Mogie's relationship forever.

About Adrian Louis

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Adrian C. Louis is an enrolled member of the Lovelock Paiute Indian Tribe and was born and raised in Nevada. He is the former managing editor of the Lakota Times, the largest American Indian newspaper in the country. Since 1984 he has taught English at Oglala Lakota College on the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota. He has written several books of poems, including Fire Water World, honored by the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University as the best book of poems of 1989. He has received fellowships from the Wurlitzer Foundation, the South Dakota Arts Council, the Bush Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Published May 30, 1995 by Crown. 296 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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It also brings out Rudy's alter ego, the ``Avenging Warrior,'' a vigilante bent on dispensing rough justice beyond the bounds of the law.

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Gather Books

Adrian Louis opens his Introduction with a poem named The End of the Trail Is the Beginning of the Trail which alludes to how many Native Americans, like the Sioux in the collected poems, have gone off the trail.

Apr 15 2008 | Read Full Review of Skins


Rudy serves on the local police force while embittered Vietnam vet Mogie's days evaporate in a boozy haze, causing embarrassment to his brother and rendering Mogie incapable of being a father to Herbie (Noah Watts), the teenage son he clearly loves.

Jan 27 2002 | Read Full Review of Skins

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