Monday, November 14, 2016

Review: Winter in the Blood by James Welch

 Summary from Goodreads:

A contemporary classic from a major writer of the Native American renaissance, now adapted for film by Alex and Andrew Smith, starring Chaske Spencer and produced by Sherman Alexie

During his life, James Welch came to be regarded as a master of American prose, and his first novel, Winter in the Blood, is one of his most enduring works. The narrator of this beautiful, often disquieting novel is a young Native American man living on the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana. Sensitive and self-destructive, he searches for something that will bind him to the lands of his ancestors but is haunted by personal tragedy, the dissolution of his once proud heritage, and Montana's vast emptiness. Winter in the Blood is an evocative and unforgettable work of literature that will continue to move and inspire anyone who encounters it.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

My Review:


Winter in the Blood is my first experience with Native American Fiction and I read it for my Ethnicity in Literature course.

I struggled with the format of the novel because the narrative jumps constantly and I'm still uncertain on a majority of the plot points. The narrator (who is unnamed) had a lot of unsettling interactions with women which diminished my sympathy. 

Despite the main character, I adored Welch's nature centric and beautiful prose. The mixture of Native American heritage and the Western "white" culture was interesting to read about. It is easy to get lost with the narrative but if you read until the end metaphors begin to form and clear up the confusing aspects.

I recommend checking this out if you enjoy diverse and ambiguous reads. I'm planning on checking out the 2013 film to see how it was adapted. 

My Rating:

3.5 Stars Out of 5 Stars

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