Calling for a Blanket Dance Summary and Reviews

Calling for a Blanket Dance

by Oscar Hokeah

Calling for a Blanket Dance by Oscar Hokeah X
Calling for a Blanket Dance by Oscar Hokeah
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About this book

Book Summary

A moving and deeply engaging debut novel about a young Native American man finding strength in his familial identity, from a stellar new voice in fiction.

Told in a series of voices, Calling for a Blanket Dance takes us into the life of Ever Geimausaddle through the multigenerational perspectives of his family as they face myriad obstacles. His father's injury at the hands of corrupt police, his mother's struggle to hold on to her job and care for her husband, the constant resettlement of the family, and the legacy of centuries of injustice all intensify Ever's bottled-up rage. Meanwhile, all of Ever's relatives have ideas about who he is and who he should be. His Cherokee grandmother urges the family to move across Oklahoma to find security; his grandfather hopes to reunite him with his heritage through traditional gourd dances; his Kiowa cousin reminds him that he's connected to an ancestral past. And once an adult, Ever must take the strength given to him by his relatives to save not only himself but also the next generation of family.

How will this young man visualize a place for himself when the world hasn't given him a place to start with? Honest, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, Calling for a Blanket Dance is the story of how Ever Geimausaddle found his way to home

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The Kiowa, Cherokee, and Mexican family members of a young man named Ever Geimausaddle tell stories that span from his infancy to his adulthood in this captivating debut...Throughout, Hokeah succeeds at making each character's voice distinct and without losing a sense of cohesion. With striking insight into human nature and beautiful prose, this heralds an exciting new voice." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Hokeah's debut will feel familiar to fans of Louise Erdrich and Tommy Orange… A novel that builds in richness and intricacy… Another noteworthy debut in what feels like an ongoing renaissance of Indigenous peoples' literature, both reflecting this lineage and introducing an exciting, fresh new voice to the choir." - Library Journal

​"With solid Tommy Orange vibes, the first novel from Oscar Hokeah is a coming-of-age tale told from a chorus of multigenerational voices...One to watch, for sure." - BookPage, 2022 Preview: Most Anticipated Fiction

"Calling for a Blanket Dance is a stunning novel. Oscar Hokeah writes from deep inside the heart of his communities, bringing life to generations of voices who became so real to me they felt like relatives. The reader can't help but invest in each character as they navigate bitter challenges, sometimes surprising themselves with their strength, their ability to survive and love. Hokeah's prose gorgeously weaves authentic local vernacular with the lyrical notes of hard-won insight. This novel belongs on every recommended booklist for fans of literary fiction." - Susan Power, author of The Grass Dancer

"Hokeah offers us a rich tapestry of interconnected narratives, a chorus of distinct voices battling against history, failing bodies, and barren landscapes. We move through decades, fall in love and despair with the Geimaussadle family. The scale and beauty reminds you of One Hundred Years of Solitude set in Oklahoma. Here's a True American Epic." - Gabriel Bump, author of Everywhere You Don't Belong

"The characters that populate Calling for a Blanket Dance are real, amazing, vulnerable and beautiful in their flaws and, even despair—Oscar Hokeah unveils their suffering and joy, their struggle to live with honor, care for family, walk right. What an accomplishment. Few writers have the courage or craft to pull this off. Hokeah beats the drum and stomps, announcing his power is back, the people have returned with powerful stories. He weaves a tale that is unforgettable and fortifying. I couldn't put the book down." - Jimmy Santiago Baca, author of A Place to Stand

This information about Calling for a Blanket Dance was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Oscar Hokeah

Oscar Hokeah is a citizen of Cherokee Nation and the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma from his mother's side and has Mexican heritage through his father. He holds an MA in English with a concentration in Native American Literature from the University of Oklahoma, as well as a BFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), with a minor in Indigenous Liberal Studies. He is a recipient of the Truman Capote Scholarship Award through IAIA and is also a winner of the Native Writer Award through the Taos Summer Writers Conference. His short stories have been published in South Dakota Review, American Short Fiction, Yellow Medicine Review, Surreal South, and Red Ink Magazine. He works with Indian Child Welfare in Tahlequah.

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