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Porcupines and China Dolls

Porcupines and China Dolls

By Robert Alexie
Series: Porcupines and China Dolls
Hardcover : 9781894778688, 302 pages, May 2009


"To understand this story, it is important to know the People and where they came from and what they went through. " So begins a haunting story that explores with frank and honest words the dark legacy of the residential school system and its impact on individuals, families and communities. James Nathan and Jake Noland have been best friends for life. After finishing mission school, they return to their Gwich'in community in the Northwest Territories. Their lives revolve around bootleggers, the bar, drug abuse and meaningless sex. James and Jake try to dull their painful memories of the school. Each hides a dark secret that fuels his nightmares. Enough alcohol silences the demons for a night; a gun and a single bullet silences demons forever. When a friend commits suicide and a former priest appears on television, the community is shattered. James and Jake confront their childhood abuse and break the silence to begin a journey of healing and rediscovery.


"A terrific book that deals with present day concerns. Its narrative strategy is one that North American readers aren't going to be used to. ..But for Native readers, what they'll hear is some of the overtones of oral literature and oral story telling. "

- Thomas King, Governor General's Award nominee for Green Grass, Running Water and author of Medicine River and The Truth About