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The Death at Awahi
Best Book, New Mexico Book Awards, 2007 It’s 1923. The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and its educational arm, the Indian Service, are under fire for a “Christianize and civilize” policy that seeks to draw Native American children from their ancestral cultures. The school principal at the fictional New Mexico pueblo of Awahi has been caught slipping government property to a ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 15th 2007 by Texas Tech University Press
(first published March 1st 2007)
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A story set in the early 1920s about the new principal on a Navajo reservation and his wife, who is setting up a nursing clinic. The two have a liberal, open-minded approach to the local Navajo pueblo and the education of its children, which clashes with the collection of stern or oddball white characters already there. I like being surprised by books that seem they might be predictable, and that is true with this book, in plot and strucure. The pace is steady, the atmosphere gently evoked.