Christina's Reviews > Yellow Raft in Blue Water

Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris
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's review
Sep 06, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: park-ridge-book-club
Read in January, 1994

I really liked this book when I first read it in 1994, and -- despite what I've learned about later events in Dorris's personal life (e.g., rumors of child molestation and his subsequent suicide) -- I liked it almost as much when I reread it in 2009 for my book group. In the early 1990's, the literary techniques of describing the same events from multiple characters' perspectives and of moving backward through time seemed so radical whereas today these techniques are less impressive because so many books have used them. Some readers have objected to Yellow Raft because Dorris was a white male who attempted to write about Native-American women. Interestingly, though, Dorris's three central female Native American characters are much better developed than all of the novel's male characters, whose main function is to betray and abandon the women in their lives. The ending --Ida's story -- was abrupt. I wish Dorris had allowed Ida to tell her story through the present instead of stopping in 1960.

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