Paperback, 230 pages
Nine-year-old Michelle, an Asian-American biracial child, is left with her paternal grandparents in Deerhorn, a small, ingrown, out-of-the-way town in north central Wisconsin. Her grandfather, Charlie, despite his own cultural bigotry, bonds with her and becomes her constant companion despite the antipathy of the town. Then a Black nurse is hired at the local clinic and her husband becomes a substitute teacher at the elementary school. Now the townsfolk must "do something" and come to Charlie as one of the elders. What unfolds is tough to take, but it is written with grace and fluidity. The ostensible point-of-view is that of the forty-year-old Michelle looking back on her childhood from L.A., but the resonant viewpoint remains that of the nine-year-old child.