The Power of Horses and Other Stories
In these striking and memorable tales of Dakota country, Joseph grieves that the body of his middle son will never be returned to his native shores from the distant World War I battlefields where he was killed; family members gather to bury their father and barely survive their own weaknesses and bickering; a grandmother takes her grandchild for a walk and imparts to the child some of the old wisdom of times past; a whining hound dog—primordial to the Dakota—competes unwittingly with Reverend Tileston’s efforts to bring the word of the Christian God to a tight-knit family, and wins; Magpie is a poet but is also on parole, and just as his friends have begun to rethink the finality of justice, he is “accidentally” shot and killed in the white man’s jail.
Cook-Lynn writes unsparingly yet compassionately of reservation life in the last century. In each of these gemlike stories she reveals something of the mystery and essential toughness of the Dakota people.
“Her briefest sketches in The Power of Horses, such as 'Mahpiyato' and 'Bennie,' demand to be read aloud. Enigmatic, poetic, they possess a true sense of spiritual mystery.” —The Los Angeles Times Book Review