The Dance Boots by Linda LeGarde Grover
(Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction)

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In this stirring collection of linked stories, Linda LeGarde Grover portrays an Ojibwe community struggling to follow traditional ways of life in the face of a relentlessly changing world.

In the title story an aunt recounts the harsh legacy of Indian boarding schools that tried to break the indigenous culture. In doing so she passes on to her niece the Ojibwe tradition of honoring elders through their stories. In “Refugees Living and Dying in the West End of Duluth,” this same niece comes of age in the 1970s against the backdrop of her forcibly dispersed family. A cycle of boarding schools, alcoholism, and violence haunts these stories even as the characters find beauty and solace in their large extended families.

With its attention to the Ojibwe language, customs, and history, this unique collection of riveting stories illuminates the very nature of storytelling. The Dance Boots narrates a century’s evolution of Native Americans making choices and compromises, often dictated by a white majority, as they try to balance survival, tribal traditions, and obligations to future generations.


About Linda LeGarde Grover

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Linda LeGarde Grover is an associate professor of American Indian studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She is the coauthor ofA Childhood in Minnesota: Exploring the Lives of Ojibwe and Immigrant Families 1880–1920and the author of a poetry chapbook,The Indian at Indian School. Her manuscriptThe Road Back to Sweetgrasswon the Native Writers Circle of the Americas First Book Award.
Published September 15, 2010 by University of Georgia Press. 165 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Winner of this year's Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, Grover's stories work back in time to retrace the rupturing experience of Western schooling on the Ojibwe tribes in Minnesota during the early 20th century.

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ForeWord Reviews

In “Three Seasons,” Maggie studies the patchwork quilt her mother assembled from the family’s old clothes, a quilt “pieced so large that sleeves and bodices could be clearly seen clutching and elbowing expanses of skirt.” The Dance Boots is like this quilt—a patchwork of overlapping lives, able t...

Sep 26 2010 | Read Full Review of The Dance Boots (Flannery O'C...

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