The Heartsong of Charging Elk: A Novel
by James Welch
Inspired by actual historical fact, James Welch'stells the story of an Oglala Sioux who travels the extraordinary geographical and cultural distance from tribal life in the Black Hills of South Dakota to existence on the streets of Marseille. As a young boy, Charging Elk witnessed his people's massacre of Custer's Seventh Cavalry at Little Big Horn, followed by years of futile fighting and wandering until the Sioux were finally lured to the Pine Ridge reservation. But he prefers life in the Stronghold, living by his wits and skills in the old way. Ironically, it is Charging Elk's horsemanship and independent air that cause Buffalo Bill to recruit him for his Wild West Show, which travels across "the big water" to create a sensation in the capitals of Europe. Charging Elk and his Sioux companions are living a life touched by fame and marked by previously unthinkable experiences--until he falls ill in Marseille and, through a bureaucratic mix-up, is left behind in a hospital while the show travels on. Scared, disoriented, Charging Elk escapes--only to fall into a series of events, including a love affair with a prostitute and a shocking murder, that will change his life utterly beyond his imagination. James Welch, one of our truly great Native American writers, has taken a fascinating premise and realized it with utter mastery. Reminiscent of Fools Crow, his classic novel of Indian life, The Heartsong of Charging Elk is a haunting epic of culture shock and colliding ways of life and thought, sure to be hailed by reviewers and readers alike.
Author: James Welch
Edition: (Edition: 1st)
Release Date: 2000-08-15