Excerpt from The Game of Silence by Louise Erdrich, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Game of Silence

by Louise Erdrich

The Game of Silence by Louise Erdrich X
The Game of Silence by Louise Erdrich
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2005, 256 pages

    Paperback:
    Jun 2006, 272 pages

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One day, as Omakayas was watching Mama and Bizheens, she felt her Deydey watching her. He sat down next to her. Omakayas's Deydey was a prickly man—scratchy and remote sometimes, lost in his thoughts, or even cold as his name Mikwam, Ice. But he was also warmhearted and kind underneath. Often he seemed not to notice his surroundings at all as he worked on one of his many projects—nets, snowshoes, baskets, bows and arrows, traps ... Deydey could make anything. Suddenly, he would lift his head from whatever he was doing and Omakayas would realize he had been closely observing the entire family all along. Now was one of those times.

"N'dawnis," he said, his hand warm on her hair, "don't be sad. Soon enough that little baby will be too much for your mama! She'll beg you to help her take care of him! And in the meantime," he went on, excitement in his voice, "I have made something for you."

Deydey put a small bundle into Omakayas's arms, folded her arms around the bundle, and hurried away. Giving gifts, the things he made, always embarrassed him. Omakayas recognized the scrap of hide, now cleaned and softened, that had first held Bizheens. Slowly, she pushed the edges away from a face that made her gasp. She saw beautiful hair, black bead eyes, and a tiny mouth reddened with vermilion. It was a wonderfully made doll with a dress of velvet sewed by Deydey and beaded by Omakayas's sister. Seeing Omakayas's longing, Deydey and Angeline had made her something to hold.

I have a good family," Omakayas whispered. Holding the doll to her heart, she entered this precious being into the list of all she loved.

From The Game of Silence by Louise Erdrich. Copyright © 2005 by Louise Erdrich. All Rights Reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Harper Collins.

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