Friday, December 29, 2017

Interview with the author (v)--Wounded Knee

Wounded Knee is here in Looking for Dawn again, like Touches the Sky?

Sort of. Plays a minor role, really, but an important thematic one. It just so happens that today—December 29—is the date of the Massacre. The very first time I went there—the day after Thanksgiving some 15 years ago maybe—I was all alone. It was cold and windy and not a day to visit a place like that, but I think the experience of being there all by myself, standing up on the hill where the guns were sitting, where once there stood a church, where the ’73 action took place, where the mass burial took place (see the picture?)—all of that got into me, as well it should. I think you’d have to be less than human not to feel something.

And I’ve always been impressed by “the riders,” the Native people who start all the way north at Standing Rock and ride all the way down to Pine Ridge, to the place where the massacre took place. It’s really cold—normally—out there (and here) right now, but they are determined to follow the trail of Big Foot and his people.

The riders are sort of there, importantly there—even though they’re not.

You think ordinary people know about all of that? Do they care?

I don’t know. I’m quite sure that few white folks know anything at all about Native American history. If you do, it’s hard to take Donald Trump’s gag-line seriously—you know, “Make America Great Again.”

Let’s not talk about Trump.
That’s a good idea.

Wanted to ask you about something else—there’s some cussing in this novel, a couple of f-bombs. Is that new in an old writer like you?

Yes, but it’s a long story.

I got time.

Tell you what—let's go there next time.

One more thing! It just so happens that today--December 29--is the day of the Wounded Knee Massacre, back in 1890. I've written about it often, and did again to day. If you'd like to read something, go here:

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