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The Beadworkers by Beth Piatote
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The Beadworkers

Stories

$15.26 USD

Retail price (USD): $16.95

Discount: 10%

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Length 5 hours 14 minutes
Language English
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Beth Piatote’s luminous debut collection opens with a feast, grounding its stories in the landscapes and lifeworlds of the Native Northwest, exploring the inventive and unforgettable pattern of Native American life in the contemporary world

Told with humor, subtlety, and spareness, the mixed-genre works of Beth Piatote’s first collection find unifying themes in the strength of kinship, the pulse of longing, and the language of return.

A woman teaches her niece to make a pair of beaded earrings while ruminating on a fractured relationship. An eleven-year-old girl narrates the unfolding of the Fish Wars in the 1960s as her family is propelled to its front lines. In 1890, as tensions escalate at Wounded Knee, two young men at college—one French and the other Lakota—each contemplate a death in the family. In the final, haunting piece, a Nez Perce–Cayuse family is torn apart as they debate the fate of ancestral remains in a moving revision of the Greek tragedy Antigone.

Formally inventive and filled with vibrant characters, The Beadworkers draws on Indigenous aesthetics and forms to offer a powerful, sustaining vision of Native life.

Beth Piatote is a writer and scholar. She is Nez Perce from Chief Joseph’s Band, and is an enrolled member of the Colville Confederated Tribes. She holds a PhD from Stanford University, and is currently an associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in the Bay Area with her two children.

Beth Piatote is a writer and scholar. She is Nez Perce from Chief Joseph’s Band, and is an enrolled member of the Colville Confederated Tribes. She holds a PhD from Stanford University, and is currently an associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in the Bay Area with her two children.

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Reviews

"The Beadworkers is a feast of wit and storytelling. I read it once to see where Piatote would go next. Twice to savor the emotional, cultural, and structural resonance of this wonderful work.”

“A collection that gives voice to what is so often left unsaid.”

“Marvelous…The Beadworkers is an intricate and poignant set of meditations on how to move forward with identity and hope intact while reconciling with loss, both collective and personal.”

“Gripping and utterly readable…The stories here are wide-ranging but encompass many perspectives of Indigenous people in North America.”

“Mixes poetry, verse, and prose to form an impressive reflection on the lives of modern Native Americans…This beautiful collection announces Piatote as a writer to watch.”

“Piatote draws the reader in with spare and perceptive language and resonate empathy for each struggling yet resilient character.”

“Beth Piatote strings together stories like the intricate strands of a handmade necklace…The collected pieces of The Beadworkers explore place and identity in vibrant scenes. Throughout, Piatote reveals Native American life in contexts modern, historic and mythical.”

“A poignant and challenging look at the way the past and present collide.”

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