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The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo

A Child, an Elder & the Light from an Ancient Sky
Paperback Book
New World Library
November, 2013
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Banyen's Description: 

Kent Nerburn has been lauded for “storytelling with a greatness of heart” (Louise Erdrich) and for delivering “keen insights into human nature and the meaning of life” (Spirituality & Practice). In this moving finale to the trilogy that began with Neither Wolf nor Dog and continued in The Wolf at Twilight, Nerburn blends history, humor, and heartbreak with a gripping mystery. Once again he visits the Dakota elder Dan and then joins in a quest to try to save the life of a four-year-old girl who is hauntingly similar to Dan’s little sister, Yellow Bird, with her mystical relationship to animals and nature. Dan sees her as unique and precious, because she remembers the old ways, but the white doctors say she is antisocial and needs medication or, worse yet, care in a white foster home.

Delving beneath the myths, misperceptions, and stereotypes that make up so much of our understanding of Native life, Nerburn finds a world that “beats with a different and indomitable heartbeat.” Readers are swept up into a great story of the awe-inspiring communion of human, animal, and nature that underlies the many things we can learn from our land’s native people. This is a brilliant tale, beautifully told.

Dan was a gift—a person who gave me the opportunity, through stories well told, to reveal the world of Native people in a way that would touch minds and change hearts. Through  him, I have been able to lead you into the heart of native America in a way that few non-Native readers ever experience…

The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo brushes against these places. They are not places for spiritual dabblers. They are a taproot to a world that runs deeper than our presence on this continent.

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