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The Wolf at Twilight: An Indian Elder's Journey through a Land of Ghosts and Shadows (Neither Wolf Nor Dog #2)

4.38  ·  Rating Details  ·  463 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
A note is left on a car windshield, an old dog dies, and Kent Nerburn finds himself back on the Lakota reservation where he traveled more than a decade before with a tribal elder named Dan. The touching, funny, and haunting journey that ensues goes deep into reservation boarding-school mysteries, the dark confines of sweat lodges, and isolated Native homesteads far back in ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published November 3rd 2009 by New World Library (first published November 1st 2009)
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A compelling follow up to Neither Wolf, Nor Dog , this second installment in the trilogy of Nerburn's encounters with the Lakota elder the reader only ever knows as "Dan" is a more intensely personal journey --- into Dan's history with the Residential School system, and the loss of his sister, Yellow Bird.

Perhaps most interesting is that from the beginning - literally in the foreword - Nerburn makes it clear to the reader that these books are novelizations of his work with Dan. Although Nerbur
Jan 17, 2010 Tami added it
The Wolf at Twilight is a multi-faceted book disguised as a fictionalized account of actual events. The book begins as the author receives a mysterious note telling him that the dog of an old friend has passed. Immediately, the author understands that this is an important message.

The author makes the trip to the reserve where he helps his friend lay the dog to rest. Then, the author finds out the deeper meaning of the call. He has been charged with helping his old friend find his lost sister. O
Mar 23, 2014 Melle rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: white people who need to learn how to shut up
Recommended to Melle by: Westwood Ridge book group
I have been resistant to reading any of Kent Nerburn's works because of my own experiences as an outsider with an insider's perspective into the lives and community of Turtle Island's original people. In fact, the only reason I picked up this book was because I needed to read it for a book group through work. I know how hard and how crucial it is for a non-Native writer to get it -- the representation of Native people, Native cultures, contemporary Native lives -- right, and I didn't want to rea ...more
Feb 04, 2010 Kerry rated it really liked it
I didn't know this was a sequel. It reads well on its own, but was so good I want to read the first book. There were some comments about religion, comparing all to fingers on the same hand of the creator, that were very moving and insightful.
Lenore Flanders
Jun 21, 2010 Lenore Flanders rated it really liked it
A most profound story about Native American treatment by whites and the relationship over the years. Very well written and educational. If only all whites would read this book!
Mar 31, 2010 Brenna rated it really liked it
Good reminder of the horror of boarding schools for American Indians.
Erin Henry
Aug 23, 2015 Erin Henry rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
A beautiful story of loss. It's worth reading if only for the final speech about the nature of people and how important children and elders are. It gave me a lot of insight into my own culture and that of Indians.
Melissa Martin
Oct 04, 2014 Melissa Martin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, own
The second in the heart wrenching trilogy of elder Dan's journey. I was also lucky enough to get a personal signed copy of this book from the author. All three in the trilogy actually, which made me cry as these are some of my favorite books.

Dan steals your heart looking for the answers to what happened to his sister. Telling the stories of the way they were treated. The characters are all to love. You will laugh and cry. You will be broken in a way to think of the horrible things people do and
Jun 07, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Written beautiful. The author is a lovely storyteller.
Dec 31, 2009 Mike rated it really liked it
I like this book a lot. The writing style is good and the story is engaging. The content of the story hit me too, though it probably wouldn't mean the same to everyone. I'm going to see about his other books too.
Gerhardt Lepp
Mar 06, 2015 Gerhardt Lepp rated it it was amazing
I have been looking for this book for a long time. I knew the message from years of studying native history and culture and participating in Lakota ceremonies. I have been looking for this story told by a native elder who still knew the old ways.

Kent Nerburn has done us all a great service. He has done what few white people are willing or able to do.... just shut up and listen.

The book reminded me of my favourite quote from Avatar. Jake Scully claimed to be visiting the Na'vi to learn their way
Jan 25, 2016 G3 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books of 2010. A great read!
Will Waller
Jan 17, 2012 Will Waller rated it really liked it
There’s a purpose to my Rules. They are not simply arbitrary although more often than not they seem to resemble this attribute. They are instead containers that allow me to access different pathways of knowledge than I would otherwise have received. It is with this book, the second book or the second telling of the first book, that I was able to access more information than I would have.

The Wolf at Twilight – an excellent title btw – reveals Dan’s final days on this Earth, as we follow Kent Ner
Jan 12, 2010 Karl rated it it was amazing
Devika Koppikar
Jul 24, 2013 Devika Koppikar rated it liked it
This book did not capture me and take me to another world like its predecessor, Neither Wolf Nor Dog.

If I were to describe the book in one word it would be “frustrating.”

First of all, much of the book was focused on boring logistics: where Nerburn went (turning left or right or whether the road was curved or straight), what the sky and grass looked like, whether the people were tall/short/fat, skinny, etc. My response was, “who cares?” I was more interested in their life experiences and reflecti
Jan 16, 2012 Ainetheon rated it really liked it
Shelves: native-american
Although this book is a sequel, it reads well as a standalone novel. As a fictionalised account of real events it is successful in moving the story along at a good pace, possibly because it is written in the first person. Nerburn, however, seems to take centre stage and it is as much his story in getting the tale told as it is Dan's. There are gaps where things are left unsaid; questions raised that hang loosely throughout the story. I find Nerburn's style a little on the conceited side, almost ...more
John Benson
Nov 24, 2014 John Benson rated it really liked it
This is the 2nd book in the trilogy of Kent Nerburn's encounter with Dan. The events in this book take place some 15 years after the first book and Dan once again gets in contact with Kent when his dog dies. Most of this book is about Dan's trying to find out what happened with his sister, who disappeared in childhood. Kent is able to help him find answers to this question through trips he takes in the Dakotas and Minnesota. A very sad and moving book.
Ben Siems
Apr 16, 2010 Ben Siems rated it liked it
Kent Nerburn, who has made a career as a literary "go between" bridging the gap between the worlds of Native Americans and white Americans, tells this story with a flair that keeps you turning the pages. It is a touching, at times funny, at times brutal, story, and a story very much worth reading.

What I dislike about Nerburn's style is the way he portrays himself as the white man buffoon who knows nothing of Native American ways and thus constantly commits one faux pas after the next. I guess th
Oct 27, 2015 Modi123 rated it really liked it
A really super follow up book to Nerburn's first book.. it continues a bit further down the road where Kent helps the Lakota elder Dan bury Fatback and connect with his long lost sister. As with the first book this is couched with direct, and indirect, lessons Dan tries to impart to Nerburn on the differences between their cultures, the horrible effects of tribal re-education schools, and the lasting scar it has left on the tribal folk across the years. Big picture discussions about how God/The ...more
Jun 20, 2011 Beryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a number of Nerburn's books. This sequel to Neither Wolf Nor Dog is just as engrossing and unforgettable as its predecessor. Nerburn has the gift of bridging cultures- a white man trusted by Native American's to tell their stories. You will meet Dan, the amazing elder who drives these stories (and Nerburn). Grover, Dan's protector and "translator" who keeps Nerburn on track with few words and plenty of silent messages. Little Yellow Bird, the sister who disappears from Dan's life in an ...more
Jul 14, 2012 Bruce rated it really liked it
This book is a continuation of the author's involvement with Dan, a Lakota elder, that began in _Neither Wolf nor Dog_. Both books use road trips across the Dakota plains as an occasion for Dan to educate "Nerburn" about the philosophy of life of native people, often set in sharp contrast to the way of the white man. This book specifically deals with the mistreatment of Indian boys and girls in boarding schools where years before Dan's little sister was taken, never to return. Dan is the mouthpi ...more
Jan 27, 2015 Ali rated it it was amazing
An amazing book.
Good enough to read on it's own but also a mighty fine sequel if you will.
This, along with neither wolf nor man, have to be two of my favorite books, ever.
I read a lot, so that is not an easy title to be given.
Their is so much history, so many snippets of wisdom that we could all do with remembering today.
The history of the native americans is rich and haunting.
There is still so much genecide going on in the world today that it is so sad to see that people are not learning from t
Sep 14, 2015 Guna rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A ninety-year old Lakota man, Dan, lost track of his little sister in the boarding school they were forced to attend as children. His sister, Yellow Bird, disappeared, and now Dan needs to find her. He asks help from the only white man he trusts, Nerburn.
An excellent book that gives great insights into Native American Spirituality. I recommend it.

One example insightful, stated by an 90 year old Native American giving a critique of the American Culture:

"If you are living only for yourself, and you know that everyone else is living only for themselves, you know that there is no help for you if you fall. All people will fall some time, just there will always come rain and bad weather. You learn that you must protect what is yours, or you may lose
Carey Roberts
This book is thought-provoking and gut-wrenching by turns. I knew the boarding schools were not truly beneficial to Native children or communities and this book does a great job of illustrating just how horrific and unjust these places were.
Julie Kaiser
May 27, 2014 Julie Kaiser rated it it was amazing
Again, an amazing read. Saddens my heart what we as humans are capable of doing to each other, but gladdens my heart to see such tenderness and compassion as well. Hopefully the better side of humanity wins out.
Barbara L. Trapp
Jul 22, 2015 Barbara L. Trapp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good read

I love Louise Erdrich books and this was one that was recommended,and I'm really glad I decided to try this author. May not as beautifully written but just as informative.
Feb 25, 2016 Deb rated it really liked it
I liked this book more than the first in the trilogy, "Neither Wolf nor Dog," because it contained more of a narrative, rather than just random thoughts being shared at seemingly random moments. I'm quite certain I have not earned the right to comment on Dan's insights as a Native American Indian elder, but they continue to be thought-provoking.
May 05, 2014 Denise rated it it was amazing
Kent returns to Dan to help him (Dan) learn about his sister that he has been separated from since being put into boarding schools. Another great novel, and even more moving story.
Apr 08, 2015 Max rated it really liked it
This is the second book in the series and I got more than a little tired of nerburn not getting the hang of being around Dan and Grover. Being plain white stupid. This did nothing to diminish the truths that Dan spoke however and I am on to book three.

"if you lose something important to you, go back and search for it and you will find it." Sitting Bull.
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“THE YEAR WAS 1988. I had taken a job helping young people on the Red Lake Ojibwe Reservation in northern Minnesota to collect the memories of the tribal elders. It was a wonderful job, and tremendously rewarding. As well as working with young people, I had the good fortune to meet and share time with the elders. I sat at their tables, heard their stories, shared their laughter, and felt their sadness. It was a profoundly human time, and I valued it more than I can express.” 0 likes
“Then, sadly, Dan died. It was a loss to me and to everyone who knew him. It seemed like an appropriate time for me to withdraw and let the book make its own way. But it was not so simple. Dan had captured peoples’ hearts and imaginations. His story had touched readers who had never before given a thought to Native America. He had articulated the feelings of many Native people who had been seeking a voice by which to explain themselves to their non-Native friends. Most important, his story had contributed in some small fashion to the reshaping of the American cultural narrative that for too long has depicted Native peoples as savages on horseback, drunks in gutters, and wisdom-bearing elders possessed of some mystical earth knowledge. People wanted to hear more from Dan and more about him. They wanted me to tell more of his story. I resisted. I was proud of what we had accomplished. But Dan was gone, and I was uncomfortable serving as a spokesman for a Native point of view and weary of trying to explain the literary method of the project we had undertaken. The book spoke for itself. There was no need to say more. But then came that chance meeting in the café. In that old man’s simple, off-handed comment, I heard the echoes of all the” 0 likes
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