Mixed Blood Stories
By Lynn Ponton
“Blending First Peoples with French and Scottish hunters produced the Métis whose stories are revived through this four generational family saga. Forcefully capturing their resilience from their defeated attempt at self-governance, Lynn Ponton skillfully weaves adolescents’ coming of age into a tapestry framed by North America’s historical events.” —Joseph Barry Gurdin, PhD, Author of Border of Lilies and Maples
“The Métis people and their fabled leader Louis Riel have found a new storyteller and advocate in Lynn Ponton. Through the tales of four young people, she has achieved a remarkable feat: a novel that spans centuries, yet stays passionately in each present moment, seamlessly connecting the political with the personal. This is a novel so engrossing, the reader may not be aware how instructive it is.” —Alison Owings, Author of Indian Voices/ Listening to Native Americans
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The Métis are the descendants of Cree and Assiniboine women who joined with French and Scottish men to raise children and shape a hybrid culture in the heart of Canada. In Métis: Mixed Blood Stories, four generations of adolescents come of age during their sixteenth year. Together their voices tell the story of one family and of a people. Matriarch Angeline describes her ride on the last great buffalo hunt of the 1860s and her relationship with charismatic Métis leader Louie Riel. Her grandson, Gilles, relates his escape from a Chicago orphanage and his fight to stay out of reservation school. Gilles’s daughter, Elisabeth, fights to protect the rights of native youth in the violent 1968 U.S. Democratic Convention. The novel closes with the vibrant voice with which it begins, that of great-granddaughter Annie, whose creativity as a young author and filmmaker will ensure that the legacy of their culture lives on.
Lynn Ponton is the author of two previous books of nonfiction, The Romance of Risk: Why Teenagers Do the Things They Do and The Sex Lives of Teenagers: Revealing the Secret World of Adolescent Boys and Girls. She has been a columnist for Salon.com and has published widely in numerous magazines, newspapers, and journals. A practicing psychoanalyst, she is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. This is her first work of fiction.
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