Home > ndnreviews
Vol. 7 Issue 1

Author Robert Alexie has gutsy first novel

In order to understand this story, it is important to know the People and where they came from and what they went through. The story begins with the Blue People and their legends and beliefs in the time before first contact. From Legends, Beliefs and the Newcomers Porcupines and China Dolls is a powerful story about the effects of residential schools on our communities and the history of that trauma. It is a story about how these traumas tear us apart. It is also a story about healing. The residential school is a dark hurt inside of us that we all carry. We all live with this trauma. It affects our lives, how we act, how we relate to each other. It represents one of the worst times of our history but our story will not end with this. It can’t because we are too strong to have this hurt like this forever, and there will always be new ways to find light outside of this dark.

Stories like Porcupines and China Dolls will help us to find a new way, and will help us to remember that light that comes from understanding ourselves. The residential school did take away a lot but it could never take away that light. Porcupines and China Dolls will forever remind us of that light, and that is a good thing. If you can find this book, read it and pass it on… There is medicine in these pages. Robert Alexie is a new writer that writes with a strong voice. His book is about one of the hardest subjects from Indian Country and he writes about it with courage and understanding.

The title refers to the haircuts the children received in residential schools. Their hair was cut making the boys look like porcupines and the girls like china dolls. In a live presentation of CBC’s Dead Dog Café, Robert Alexie, a guest on the show, and author of Porcupines and China Dolls, as a part of the First Indigenous International Authors Tour, was asked what his favorite food was…and Robert, in a muffled, shy, Indian from Up-North kind of way said “Caribou and Kraft Dinner…” and to that, we, at Redwire, wish to say “Awesome!” Robert Alexie is Teetl’it Gwich’in, from the North West Territories. His second book, The Pale Indian, will be out in Febuary 2005.

Peter Morin

archives      talent      media      contact      links      advertising      boards     
Design by Ray Charlie