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The Night Watchman (2020)

de Louise Erdrich

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
5314133,900 (4.13)42
New York Times Bestseller Based on the extraordinary life of National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich's  grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C., this powerful novel explores themes of love and death with lightness and gravity and unfolds with the elegant prose, sly humor, and depth of feeling of a master craftsman. Thomas Wazhashk is the night watchman at the jewel bearing plant, the first factory located near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a Chippewa Council member who is trying to understand the consequences of a new "emancipation" bill on its way to the floor of the United States Congress. It is 1953 and he and the other council members know the bill isn't about freedom; Congress is fed up with Indians. The bill is a "termination" that threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land and their very identity. How can the government abandon treaties made in good faith with Native Americans "for as long as the grasses shall grow, and the rivers run"? Since graduating high school, Pixie Paranteau has insisted that everyone call her Patrice. Unlike most of the girls on the reservation, Patrice, the class valedictorian, has no desire to wear herself down with a husband and kids. She makes jewel bearings at the plant, a job that barely pays her enough to support her mother and brother. Patrice's shameful alcoholic father returns home sporadically to terrorize his wife and children and bully her for money. But Patrice needs every penny to follow her beloved older sister, Vera, who moved to the big city of Minneapolis. Vera may have disappeared; she hasn't been in touch in months, and is rumored to have had a baby. Determined to find Vera and her child, Patrice makes a fateful trip to Minnesota that introduces her to unexpected forms of exploitation and violence, and endangers her life. Thomas and Patrice live in this impoverished reservation community along with young Chippewa boxer Wood Mountain and his mother Juggie Blue, her niece and Patrice's best friend Valentine, and Stack Barnes, the white high school math teacher and boxing coach who is hopelessly in love with Patrice. In the Night Watchman, Louise Erdrich creates a fictional world populated with memorable characters who are forced to grapple with the worst and best impulses of human nature. Illuminating the loves and lives, the desires and ambitions of these characters with compassion, wit, and intelligence, The Night Watchman is a majestic work of fiction from this revered cultural treasure.… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porbiblioteca privada, MAR67, Raechill, FolioSeattle, ImaginarySpace, daurizion, nicolepurves, ymkahn, batgirl323, morningwalker
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Five years ago I was introduced to the writing of Louise Erdrich by reading The Master Butchers Singing Club. This historical novel of Germans in America won me over and while it has been too long since, I now have returned to Louise Erdrich with her historical novel about the battle of her indigenous people for their rights.

In this story we find Thomas Wazhashk, the the night watchman of the title, working at the jewel bearing plant, the first factory located near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. Thomas is also a Chippewa Council member who is trying to understand the consequences of a new "emancipation" bill on its way to the floor of the United States Congress. It is 1953 and he and the other council members know the bill isn't about freedom; Congress is fed up with Indians. The bill is a "termination" that threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land and their very identity. He wonders, how can the government abandon treaties made in good faith with Native Americans "for as long as the grasses shall grow, and the rivers run"? While anyone who has read about the history of the relations between the indigenous tribes and the steady encroachment of American settlers will not be surprised by these events, it is disturbing that they are happening in post WWII America.

Since graduating high school, Pixie Paranteau has insisted that everyone call her Patrice. Unlike most of the girls on the reservation, Patrice, the class valedictorian, has no desire to wear herself down with a husband and kids. She makes jewel bearings at the plant, a job that barely pays her enough to support her mother and brother. Patrice's shameful alcoholic father returns home sporadically to terrorize his wife and children and bully her for money. But Patrice needs every penny to follow her beloved older sister, Vera, who moved to the big city of Minneapolis. Vera may have disappeared; she hasn't been in touch in months, and is rumored to have had a baby. Determined to find Vera and her child, Patrice makes a fateful trip to Minnesota that introduces her to unexpected forms of exploitation and violence, and endangers her life.

Thomas and Patrice live in this impoverished reservation community along with young Chippewa boxer Wood Mountain and his mother Juggie Blue, her niece and Patrice's best friend Valentine, and Stack Barnes, the white high school math teacher and boxing coach who is hopelessly in love with Patrice.

In The Night Watchman, Louise Erdrich creates a fictional world populated with memorable characters who are forced to grapple with the worst and best impulses of human nature. Her very real characters speak simple, but truthful words, all the while fighting a Federal Government whose words are duplicitous.

Illuminating the loves and lives, the desires and ambitions of these characters with compassion, wit, and intelligence, The Night Watchman is a moving work of both personal and historical fiction whose story has both sadness and a positive spirit that finds its source in family and community. ( )
  jwhenderson | Apr 20, 2021 |
I know the title character is based on Erdrich's grandfather, but it is a little misleading because the story, which is very well-written, is about the whole community, not just one person. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Mar 19, 2021 |
The Night Watchman written by Louise Erdrich troubles me. The story is a fictional account of friends and family known to Louise Erdrich. The biggest event is the Indian Termination Act of 1953 which hoped to end the union of the Indian tribes and the Federal government and to usurp the Indians from the reservations. On these “reservations” or tribal land in North Dakota, the Indians live in utter poverty with no running water or electricity. Their meals consist of wild animals and fruit and vegetables of the field. Jobs are scarce and pay lowly wages. The main character is Pixie, who wants to be called Patrice. Patrice’s sister, Vera, has married and gone to live in Minneapolis. Vera has not contacted her family in a long time, so Patrice ventures to the city to find her. We learn that Vera has been kidnapped and has been forced to become a sex slave. When Vera is sick and haggard, her jailors throw her out. The descent of the native Indian from proud warriors to individuals fighting to stay on the reservation’s land. The Indian Termination Act of 1953 was passed, but was stopped in the 1960’s. America belonged to the Indians, but the federal government wanted the land, and that struggle continues today. ( )
  delphimo | Mar 13, 2021 |
The nightwatchman
It is 1953 and Thomas Washashk a member of the Turtle Mountain Indian band is the night watchman at the jewel plant that supplies material to the US department of Defence. Thomas and his colleagues are Chipewyan living in North Dakota, with Fargo as the closest city. Thomas is a well educated, thoughtful, literate and caring father, husband and mentor. He springs to action when he finds out that the US Congress is going to abrogate the nation to nation treaties that were signed years before and let the Indians stand on their on feet. The local senator Arthur Watkins, a Mormon, is all in favour of “emancipating” the Indians. Ultimately what he really wants is the land they occupy so that white farmers can take over.
This story is historical fiction as Thomas is a stand in for the author’s grandfather, Patrick Gourneau who assembled a group that petitioned for the status quo and then travelled to Washington to present their case which they won.
The characters are well developed, their individual stories speak of hope, distress, love, the future, their children. Some suffer from abuse, alcoholism, under employment. The story is also occupied with a ghost or two who animate the story with comic relief or dreams and predictions.
This is a story of determination, pride, community support, integrity and character of those who cooperated to the success of their fight. ( )
  MaggieFlo | Mar 3, 2021 |
Love her writing and stories ( )
  ibkennedy | Feb 23, 2021 |
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To Aunishenaubay, Patrick Gourneau; to his daughter Rita, my mother; and to all of the American Indian leaders wo fought against termination.
Afterword: My Grandfather's Letters-Aunishenaubay, Patrick Gourneau, was the chairman of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Advisory Committee during the mid-1950s, supposedly the golden age for America, but in reality a time when Jim Crow reigned and American Indians were at the nadir of power--our traditional religions outlawed, our land base continually and illegally seized (even as now) by resource extraction companies, our languages weakened by government boarding schools.
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Thomas Wazhashk removed his thermos from his armpit and set it on the steel desk alongside his scuffed briefcase.
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New York Times Bestseller Based on the extraordinary life of National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich's  grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C., this powerful novel explores themes of love and death with lightness and gravity and unfolds with the elegant prose, sly humor, and depth of feeling of a master craftsman. Thomas Wazhashk is the night watchman at the jewel bearing plant, the first factory located near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a Chippewa Council member who is trying to understand the consequences of a new "emancipation" bill on its way to the floor of the United States Congress. It is 1953 and he and the other council members know the bill isn't about freedom; Congress is fed up with Indians. The bill is a "termination" that threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land and their very identity. How can the government abandon treaties made in good faith with Native Americans "for as long as the grasses shall grow, and the rivers run"? Since graduating high school, Pixie Paranteau has insisted that everyone call her Patrice. Unlike most of the girls on the reservation, Patrice, the class valedictorian, has no desire to wear herself down with a husband and kids. She makes jewel bearings at the plant, a job that barely pays her enough to support her mother and brother. Patrice's shameful alcoholic father returns home sporadically to terrorize his wife and children and bully her for money. But Patrice needs every penny to follow her beloved older sister, Vera, who moved to the big city of Minneapolis. Vera may have disappeared; she hasn't been in touch in months, and is rumored to have had a baby. Determined to find Vera and her child, Patrice makes a fateful trip to Minnesota that introduces her to unexpected forms of exploitation and violence, and endangers her life. Thomas and Patrice live in this impoverished reservation community along with young Chippewa boxer Wood Mountain and his mother Juggie Blue, her niece and Patrice's best friend Valentine, and Stack Barnes, the white high school math teacher and boxing coach who is hopelessly in love with Patrice. In the Night Watchman, Louise Erdrich creates a fictional world populated with memorable characters who are forced to grapple with the worst and best impulses of human nature. Illuminating the loves and lives, the desires and ambitions of these characters with compassion, wit, and intelligence, The Night Watchman is a majestic work of fiction from this revered cultural treasure.

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