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From the Hilltop

From the Hilltop

For the characters we meet in Toni Jensen’s stories, the past is very much the present.

Theirs are American Indian lives off the reservation, lives lived beyond the usual boundaries set for American Indian characters: migratory, often overlooked, yet carrying tradition with them into a future of difference and possibility. 

Drawing on American Indian oral traditions and her own Métis upbringing, Jensen tells stories that mix many lives and voices to offer fleeting perspectives on a world that reconfigures the tragedy and disconnection often found in narratives of American Indian life.

A brother falls off the roof of an abandoned hotel, a young bride tries to connect with a family she’s never met, and an adopted teenage girl seeks acceptance where she is viewed as an outsider. The reader also encounters a kidnapped nephew, strangers in a hotel, and even a stray dog: these are the souls that populate Jensen’s stories, finding tentative connections with the past, the future, one another, and finally us.

Book Details

Publisher: Bison Books
Publish Date: March 1, 2010
ISBN: 9780803226340
Language: English

About the Author

Toni Jensen’s Carry is a memoir-in-essays about gun violence, land and Indigenous women’s lives (Ballantine, September 2020). An NEA Creative Writing Fellowship recipient in 2020, Jensen’s essays have appeared in Orion, Catapult and Ecotone. She is also the author of the story collection From the Hilltop. She teaches at the University of Arkansas and the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is Métis.

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