The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping by Nasdijj

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Nasdijj’s critically acclaimed, award-winning memoir, The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams, took the literary world by storm. “An authentic, important book,” raved Esquire. “Unfailingly honest and very nearly perfect.” Now, this celebrated Native American writer has given readers a powerful, brave, and deeply moving memoir of the unconditional love between a father and a son.

Eleven-year-old Awee came to live with Nasdijj carrying a brown paper bag containing all his belongings, a legacy of abuse, and AIDS. But this beautiful, loving, and intelligent little boy also had enormous hope for his new life. The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping is the heart-rending but also joyous story of this untraditional little family, filled with love and laughter, but also with great pain, as Awee became progressively more ill.

Nasdijj writes about their motorcycle trip to see the ocean for the first time, about baths and baseball, about Awee’s “big brother” Crow Dog, and his dog, Navajo, but also about the brutal realities of reservation life and the challenges of dealing with a sometimes hostile medical establishment that often lacks the knowledge to treat pediatric AIDS. In the end, Nasdijj must find his own way of alleviating Awee’s suffering—and of helping him maintain his dignity in the face of a disease that gradually robs him of himself.

By turns searing and searching, lyrical and raw, The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping is ultimately transcendent—for in the end Awee got what he wanted most in his short life: a real dad.


About Nasdijj

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Nasdijj was born in the American Southwest in 1950. His grew up partly on the reservation—his mother was Navajo—and partly in migrant camps around the country. He has been writing for more than decades, making ends meet by reporting for small-town papers, teaching, and migrant labor. He is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams, which was a New York Times Notable Book, a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, and winner of the Salon Book Award. “Nasdijj” is Athabaskan for “to become again.” He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Published February 4, 2003 by Ballantine Books. 336 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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As Nasdijj depicts the child's ravaged body, many readers might find themselves sympathizing and wondering what parent wouldn't break any law to give their child some relief from the "ice picks" and "razor blades" of pain.

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