Historical novel about Native American veterans who march in the Bonus Army during the Great Depression
Native Tributes is a sequel to Blue Ravens by Gerald Vizenor, a historical novel about Native Americans in the First World War published by Wesleyan University Press in 2014. Basile Hudon Beaulieu, a native writer, his brother Aloysius, an abstract artist, travel by train from the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota to Washington, D.C. where they protest with thousands of other military veterans in the Bonus Army, and their cousin By Now Rose Beaulieu, a veteran nurse, rides her horse named Treaty to the same march during the summer of 1932. Aloysius creates hand puppets and entertains the spirited veterans with the mockery of communists and President Herbert Hoover. General Douglas McArthur routes the veterans from the National Mall, and the Beaulieu brothers move to an encampment of needy veterans in Hard Luck Town on the East River in New York City. The brothers visit the Biblo and Tanner Booksellers, a gallery owned by Alfred Stieglitz, the Modicut Puppet Theatre, and an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Aloysius is inspired by Arthur Dove, Chaïm Soutine, and Marc Chagall. Native Tributes is a journey of liberty, and escapes the enticement of nostalgia and victimry. Vizenor maintains his masterly perception of oral stories, and creates a dynamic literary tribute to Native American veterans and visionary artists in the Great Depression.
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GERALD VIZENOR is the author of more than thirty books of nonfiction, literary criticism, fiction, and poetry. He attended college on the GI Bill after serving in the United States Army for three years, mostly in Japan, and studied at New York University and the University of Minnesota. Vizenor is a citizen of the White Earth Nation in Minnesota.