Winter in the Blood

winter in the blood cover image Winter in the Blood

by James Welch
General Fiction
Penguin Classics
Paperback, 160 pages
$15.00

We’ve written in these notes about three of our favorite books: Laughing Boy by Oliver LaFarge (1927); The Man Who Killed the Deer by Frank Waters (1942); and, Halfway Man by Wayland Drew (1989).  Our friend Peter Geye (Lighthouse Road) steered us to this beautiful little book published in 1974 that is a worthy addition that trail of literary tears. Each presents a haunting lament of the tectonic impact of European incursion into Native America. Louise Erdrich calls it, “A work of slim majesty, lean, rich, funny, and grim.” The book began as a poem and retains the tone of elegy for the life of the Blackfeet of the Montana Great Plains. As Welch himself has said he is a storyteller “from a long way back.” It is a story that will resonate into the future.