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The Rez Road Follies

Canoes, Casinos, Computers, and Birch Bark Baskets

1999
Author:

Jim Northrup

The Rez Road Follies

The popular Native American writer’s humorous and hard-hitting tales.

The Rez Road Follies captures Native American storyteller, poet, and performer Jim Northrup at his shrewdest and funniest. He tells of the key events of his own life: his childhood in a government boarding school, combat in Vietnam, confronting family tragedies, and becoming a grandfather-or, as he says, “almost an elder.” Northrup writes with equal candor about the reservation’s poverty and racism on one hand, and its kinship and traditions on the other. The Rez Road Follies, filled with keen observations and feisty opinions, is an entertaining feast with a core of hard-earned wisdom.

Jim Northrup is an American-American.

George Carlin

The Rez Road Follies captures storyteller, poet, and performer Jim Northrup at his shrewdest and funniest. He tells of the key events of his own life: his childhood in a government boarding school, combat in Vietnam, confronting family tragedies, and becoming a grandfather-or, as he says, “almost an elder.” Northrup writes with equal candor about the reservation’s poverty and racism on one hand, and its kinship and traditions on the other. The Rez Road Follies, filled with keen observations and feisty opinions, is an entertaining feast with a core of hard-earned wisdom.

The Rez Road Follies

Jim Northrup’s column, “The Fond du Lac Follies” is syndicated nationally. His first book, Walking the Rez Road (1995), won a Minnesota Book Award and the Midwest States Book Achievement Award. He lives with his wife and family on the Fond du Lac Reservation in northern Minnesota.

The Rez Road Follies

Jim Northrup is an American-American.

George Carlin

His writing captures, with exquisite elegance, all the suffering, humor, dignity, and divided loyalties of reservation life.

Nelson DeMille

Jim Northrup is a healer dealer, a wise season of his own.

Gerald Vizenor

Life on the Indian reservation has rarely been discussed with such wit. Northrup succeeds in entertaining while instructing us about modern and ancient Indian cultures.

Publishers Weekly

Jim Northrup’s inside take makes him an ideal navigator through Native American life.

City Pages

It’s nice to have an authentic, nonfiction voice telling it like it is.

Denver Post

Northrup takes on the whole gamut of problems affecting his nation, from mock-shamans to reservation politics, from youthful suicide to insulting sports nicknames. Cutting, clear, often poetic, his words grab your attention and don’t let it go.

Booklist

The Rez Road Follies brings to a wider audience Northrup's consummate skills as a storyteller. In this always engaging book, Northrup ladles out family and community stories, mixed liberally with pointed observations on a range of issues affecting Indian-white relations, from treaty rights to sports mascots. Whether tackling the follies of self-interest, bigotry, and ignorance animating so much of US culture's treatment of Native Americans, or the follies of mismanagement and fraud in tribal politics, Northrup wields a biting comic vision infused with deep concern for educating his audience.

Studies in American Indian Literatures