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Short Synopsis
Novelist David Treuer examines Native American reservation life, illuminating misunderstood contemporary issues of sovereignty, treaty rights, and natural-resource conservation while also exploring crime and poverty, casinos and wealth, and the preservation of native language and culture.

Full Synopsis
Celebrated novelist David Treuer has gained a reputation for writing fiction that expands the horizons of Native American literature. In Rez Life, his first full-length work of nonfiction, Treuer brings a novelist's storytelling skill and an eye for detail to a complex and subtle examination of Native American reservation life, past and present.

With authoritative research and reportage, Treuer illuminates misunderstood contemporary issues of sovereignty, treaty rights, and natural-resource conservation. He traces the waves of public policy that have disenfranchised and exploited Native Americans, exposing the tension that has marked the historical relationship between the United States government and the Native American population. Through the eyes of students, teachers, government administrators, lawyers, and tribal court judges, he shows how casinos, tribal government, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs have transformed the landscape of Native American life.

A member of the Ojibwe of northern Minnesota, Treuer grew up on Leech Lake Reservation, but was educated in mainstream America. Exploring crime and poverty, casinos and wealth, and the preservation of native language and culture, Rez Life is a strikingly original work of history and reportage, a must listen for anyone interested in the Native American story.

"Peter Berkrot's emphatic, knowing tenor matches Treuer's punchy prose perfectly.…A hopeful, informative book about an important and often ignored subject." ---AudioFile

"Actor Peter Berkrot does a fine job carrying the author's voice . . . Recommended for listeners interested in Native American history and seeking a clarification of how contemporary problems were forged by past events." ---Library Journal Audio Review

"Treuer's account reads like a novel, brimming with characters, living and dead, who bring his tribe's history to life." ---Booklist

"An ambitious, impressionistic study of life on Native American reservations." ---Publishers Weekly

"[Treuer] examines a culture that is in crisis, but persists, even thrives, with enduring grit and courage. Powerful, important [listening]." ---Kirkus

"A look into Native life from a Native perspective, this is recommended for anyone interested in how history has shaped Native people and the ways in which Native peoples are shaping their future." ---Library Journal

"A powerful, poignant, and beautifully written history/memoir." ---Eric Jay Dolin

Rez Life

An Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life

Author David Treuer

Narrated by Peter Berkrot

Publication date Jun 29, 2012

Running time 12 hrs

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