Winter in the Blood

winter in the blood cover image Winter in the Blood

by James Welch
General Fiction
Penguin Classics
Paperback, 160 pages

We’ve written in these notes about three of our favorite books: Laughing Boy by Oliver LaFarge (1927); The Man Who Killed the Deer by Frank Waters (1942); and, Halfway Man by Wayland Drew (1989).  Our friend Peter Geye (Lighthouse Road) steered us to this beautiful little book published in 1974 that is a worthy addition that trail of literary tears. Each presents a haunting lament of the tectonic impact of European incursion into Native America. Louise Erdrich calls it, “A work of slim majesty, lean, rich, funny, and grim.” The book began as a poem and retains the tone of elegy for the life of the Blackfeet of the Montana Great Plains. As Welch himself has said he is a storyteller “from a long way back.” It is a story that will resonate into the future.