Extra Indians

Feb 15th, 2011 | By | Category: 22-3: Food Sovereignty, Spring 2011, Media Reviews

By Eric Gansworth
Milkweed Press (2010)

Review by Ryan Winn

Eric Gansworth’s fourth novel, Extra Indians, opens with Vietnam veteranturned- truck driver, Tommy Jack McMorsey, and his ill-fated attempt to help a misguided Japanese tourist survive her quest to find the lost treasure of the film, Fargo.

The consequences of Tommy Jack’s helpfulness lead to national media attention that awakens speculations that Tommy Jack may have fathered Professor Annie Boans during one of his visits to the Tuscarora Indian reservation.

Only a few years have passed in the lives of these characters since Gansworth’s last novel, Mending Skins, but decades have passed since Tommy Jack last visited Annie’s mother’s home on the occasion of his war buddy, Fred Howkowski’s, suicide.

Playing off of media references and terminology, this novel would be a great addition to libraries or literature courses searching for compelling fiction that discusses American Indians in film, adoption issues, the Vietnam War, and the ramifications of suicide.

Ryan Winn is an English, Theatre, and Communications instructor at College of Menominee Nation in Keshena and Green Bay, WI.

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