The Hiawatha: A Novel (Paperback)
An elegy to the American dream, and to the sometimes tragic experience of the Native Americans who helped to build it, The Hiawatha is both a moving portrait of a family, and a fast-paced, page-turning literary mystery of murder and redemption.
Recently widowed, and encouraged by government relocation schemes to move Native Americans off their reservations, Betty takes her four young children from their Ojibwe roots to make a new life in Minneapolis. As Betty struggles to keep her family and her dignity intact, her younger son Lester finds romance on the soon-to-be-demolished train, The Hiawatha, while his older brother Simon secretly protects his mother by taking a dangerous job as a construction worker, scaling the heights of the skyscrapers that, once completed, will never welcome him.
Twenty years later, Simon is released from prison for a horrible crime of passion. His return to Minneapolis sets in motion the dramatic, inevitable conclusion to one family's ceaseless fight to survive.
David Treuer more than delivers on the promise he displayed in his acclaimed first novel, Little, and confirms his reputation as one of the most talented and original writers of his generation.
“Treuer is truly an original voice.” —The San Francisco Chronicle
“The Hiawatha is a work of secret vision . . . enlarging his narrative beyond mere human interaction and elevating it to the level of myth.” —David Ulin, Newsday
“A story lyrical in its sadness, one demonstrating that most precious and rare of writerly gifts: the ability to reach equally well into both the heart and the mind of the reader.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A remarkable novel . . . Treuer tells a story about an extended American Indian family, but it is really an American tale.” —St. Paul Pioneer Press