This author has cancelled their attendance with the Festival.
Washburn is an assistant professor of American Indian studies and English at the University of Arizona. She is the author of several books, including "The Sacred White Turkey" and "Elsie's Business."
The Red Bird All-Indian Traveling Band
University of Arizona Press
February 2014 ISBN 9780816530823
Paperback, 184 pages $16.95, INSTORE Buy now
Opening July 4, 1969, on the Pine Ridge Reservation, The Red Bird All-Indian Traveling Band follows a country western band through a summer of gigs in this novel that is equal parts mystery and community chronicle. At its core is the band's sassy lead singer and guitarist, Sissy Roberts, who must unravel a mysterious death as well as her own future in this story set in Indian Country on the verge of historic changes.More/less
The Sacred White Turkey
September 2010 ISBN 9780803228467
Paperback, 197 pages $15.95, INSTOCK Buy now
There is nothing particularly noteworthy about an Easter turkey. But when the turkey is stark white and appears on Easter Sunday on the doorstep of a Lakota medicine woman and her teenage granddaughter, it is clearly out of the ordinary. Taking turns, Stella and her grandmother, Hazel Latour, tell the story of what follows as the mysterious turkey stirs up discord on the reservation, where some greet it as wakan, holy and sacred because of its coloring and timing, and others dismiss it as inexplicable but unimportant, while a less reputable local healer views it as a clear challenge to his standing. A tour de force of storytelling, The Sacred White Turkey is at once remarkably entertaining, rich with suspense and humor, and deeply philosophical, exploring questions of spirituality and power, abuse and trickery, all within a framework that embraces both Native and Catholic traditions. As the Latours find themselves the target of escalating violence, embroiled in a BIA leasing scandal, and witnesses to a turkey crucifixion, readers will find themselves thoroughly engaged in the unfolding mystery and meaning of the sacred white turkey.More/less