Rez Dogs Eat Beans And Other Tales

May 15th, 2004 | By | Category: 15-4: Ancient Cultures Modern Technology, Media Reviews

by Gordon Johnson
1stBooks Library (2001) Bloomington, IN. 244 pages.
ISBN 0759664439
$20.95

Review by Natalie Davis

Rez Dogs Eat Beans and Other Tales reflects, as rez dogs must, that no matter what, we all face reality. If beans are what you have to eat, you eat beans.

And reality is not so bad. If you pay attention, you can find things worth celebrating. The author celebrates friendship, family, doing things the way we used to, the joy of a vehicle that works, and getting older.

Gordon Johnson, a Cahuilla/Cupeno Indian from the Pala Reservation in Southern California, muses on his place in life, advises his children, remembers the ecstasy of eating fresh homemade tortillas, all in a comfortable, conversational way. He writes about being Indian, being a writer, about casinos, and about cultural ways both disappearing and being remembered.

He writes descriptively, and his essays are attractively brief. This book would be an interesting example of essay writing for a composition class.

Natalie Davis is a library technician for Little Priest Tribal College at Winnebago, NE.

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