Watermelon Nights

Watermelon Nights In a powerful follow up to his widely acclaimed short story collection Grand Avenue Greg Sarris tells a tale about the love and forgiveness that keep a modem American Indian family together Told fro

  • Title: Watermelon Nights
  • Author: Greg Sarris
  • ISBN: 9780140282764
  • Page: 326
  • Format: Paperback
  • In a powerful follow up to his widely acclaimed short story collection, Grand Avenue, Greg Sarris tells a tale about the love and forgiveness that keep a modem American Indian family together.Told from the points of view of a twenty year old Pomo Indian named Johnny Severe, his grandmother, Elba, and his mother, Iris, Watermelon Nights uncovers the secrets behind each of tIn a powerful follow up to his widely acclaimed short story collection, Grand Avenue, Greg Sarris tells a tale about the love and forgiveness that keep a modem American Indian family together.Told from the points of view of a twenty year old Pomo Indian named Johnny Severe, his grandmother, Elba, and his mother, Iris, Watermelon Nights uncovers the secrets behind each of these characters extraordinary powers of perception Johnny is trying to organize the remaining members of his displaced tribe at the same time he contemplates leaving his grandmother s home for the big city As the novel shifts perspective, tracing the controversial history of the tribe, we learn how the tragic events of Elba s childhood, as well as Iris s attempts to separate herself from her cultural roots, make Johnny s dilemma all the difficult Gritty yet rich in detail and emotion, Watermelon Nights stands beside the novels of Louise Erdrich, Michael Dorris, and Sherman Alexie as an important work not only in Native American literature, but in contemporary American fiction.

    One thought on “Watermelon Nights”

    1. How dare this book have no cover image! One of the most beautiful contemporary pieces I've ever read. Had the opportunity to meet Greg Sarris and ask him questions. One of the questions I asked was the significance of the basket Elba finds as she learns she is pregnant. He said it came to him in a vision one night. Also interesting was that Sarris claimed he originally wrote the order of the 3 stories with Elba's being last and. I found that interesting since the order is one of the great things [...]

    2. Three and a half stars is what I'd actually like to give this book. The first 150pgs were rough. I wasn't drawn into the story and I kept skipping over words. By the middle of the book, I was hooked. The dust jacket compares Sarris to Alexie and Erdrich (two authors with very little in common as far as writing style goes, yet equally brilliant). Sarris falls short of the comparison. Certain structures of his storytelling seem to mimic Erdrich, although I'd argue she does a far better job of char [...]

    3. This was a really eye-opening saga about a ragtag tribe of 20th century Native Americans near San Francisco—unvarnished, unromanticized Native Americans—who are struggling to hold onto their cultural identity while facing prejudice both from outside and inside their tribe. The story spans three generations and, likewise, the protagonist changes three times, but Sarris' characters are so three dimensional and fully realized that I came to love each one. I can't remember the last time I encoun [...]

    4. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Sarris who is a wonderful man. I love this book to death. Johnny's story starts out a little slow, but Elba's is hearbreakingly beautiful. If you haven't read or studied much contemporary Native American lit, motivation to read this might be difficult at first. It certainly can be depressing at times. But all in all, Sarris tells a beautiful story of family throughout 3 generations who are trying to heal from the pains of not only their own past, but their peopl [...]

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