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
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2005, 256 pages
    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.

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


From: Garber, Alex [mailto:Alex.Garber@HARPERCOLLINS.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 9:56 AM
To: davina.witts@bookbrowse.com
Cc: O'Connell, Colleen
Subject: Game of Silence

Hi Davina,
Sorry that this is reaching you so late, I hope it is still of some use. I have attached the first chapter (approx. 2000 words) for you.  Let me know if you need any thing else.
Alex Garber
Online Marketing
HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10022-5299
Tel. 212.207.7632



From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8 -Omakayas's tale, begun in The Birchbark House (Hyperion, 1999), continues in this book. Older and more insightful, Omakayas begins to understand the elements of life more fully as she accepts her gift of telling dreams. Changes are coming to the Ojibwa people and she struggles to deal with all that she is experiencing and her dreams foretell. Her sister falls in love with a warrior, strange and lost members of her tribe come to rely on her, and her people are threatened with certain eviction from their homes and food supply. But traditions are strong, and after Omakayas is sent off into nature to face the spirits and her dreams, she learns to accept the fate of her people and comes to see it as an adventure, "the next life they would live together on this earth." Although the story is set on an island in Lake Superior in 1850, readers will identify with the everyday activities of the Ojibwa, from snowball fights to fishing excursions, providing a parallel to their own lives while encouraging an appreciation for one that is very different. The action is somewhat slow, but Erdrich's captivating tale of four seasons portrays a deep appreciation of our environment, our history, and our Native American sisters and brothers.-Kimberly Monaghan, formerly at Vernon Area Public Library, IL

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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