Before considering reading this book, please see the BookBrowse note on the book jacket/review page.
January 2006: BookBrowse Note: An essay in LA Weekly by Matthew Fleischer has revealed that Nasdijj is not who he claims to be - the books are actually the work of 'S/M gay porn pioneer' Tim Barrus.
"Nasdijj's" first 'memoir', "The Blood Runs Like A River Through My Dreams", is a plagiarized version of Sherman Alexie's short story, "This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona," published in Esquire in 1993. The following two volumes of "memoirs" appear to be equally false. You can browse Sherman Alexie's own National Book Award winning memoir here.
The two publishing houses connected with Nasdijj have already ended their relation with him, although a spokesperson for Ballantine Books says "We severed our relationship with Nasdijj several years ago due to issues not related to his identity or background."
Book Jacket Summary
Nasdijj's critically acclaimed, award-winning memoir, The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams, took the literary world by storm. "An authentic, important book," raved Esquire. "Unfailingly honest and very nearly perfect." Now, this celebrated Native American writer has given readers a powerful, brave, and deeply moving memoir of the unconditional love between a father and a son.
Eleven-year-old Awee came to live with Nasdijj carrying a brown paper bag containing all his belongings, a legacy of abuse, and AIDS. But this beautiful, loving, and intelligent little boy also had enormous hope for his new life. The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping is the heart-rending but also joyous story of this untraditional little family, filled with love and laughter, but also with great pain, as Awee became progressively more ill.
Nasdijj writes about their motorcycle trip to see the ocean for the first time, about baths and baseball, about Awee's "big brother" Crow Dog, and his dog, Navajo, but also about the brutal realities of reservation life and the challenges of dealing with a sometimes hostile medical establishment that often lacks the knowledge to treat pediatric AIDS. In the end, Nasdijj must find his own way of alleviating Awee's sufferingand of helping him maintain his dignity in the face of a disease that gradually robs him of himself.
By turns searing and searching, lyrical and raw, The Boy and the Dog Are Sleeping is ultimately transcendentfor in the end Awee got what he wanted most in his short life: a real dad.
The Songs of Gods to Me
Sometimes I think I am insane.
Why would anyone sane adopt a child with AIDS?
It terrifies me to write this book. I am afraid. I am afraid of dragons.
I am afraid of losing my mind. I want something no one is allowed to have.
I want the mad ones. The children mad enough to struggle and survive. I want the children who have seen war. The children mad enough to question everything. The children who have had everything taken away from them. The children who are broken and mad enough to attempt to repair themselves. The children mad enough to spit and fight. Mad enough to laugh outrageously. Mad enough to make a music of their own. Mad enough to see themselves as individuals. I want children who will dance in rain. I want the mad, crazy ones. I want the ones insane enough to love hard, and brave enough to be vulnerable.
I do not know where this book begins.
I am haunted by deep, electric flashes of music, memory, dragons, and madness.
If you liked The Boy and The Dog Are Sleeping, try these:
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, based on the author's own experiences, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.
A story of two families thirty years after the closing of the uranium mill near which they once made their homes. When one of the children becomes involved in a group seeking damages for those harmed by the radioactive dust that contaminated their world, their past and present collide for this eclectic cast of characters.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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