The Dance Boots

Nov 6th, 2012 | By | Category: 24-2: The Future of the Tribal College Movement, Media Reviews

By Linda Legarde Grover
The University of Georgia Press (2010)

Review by Ryan Winn

In The Dance Boots, Linda Legarde Grover (Ojibwe) explores the complexities of surviving an Indian boarding school in the early 20th century. In this collection, she tells a series of interconnected stories about Maggie and Louis and the family members of those whose lives are affected by the boarding school.

The stories do not judge, praise, condemn, or canonize their subject matter. Rather, they expose the gamut of emotions each character experienced while enduring a life that was thrust upon them. To Grover’s credit, the spirit of each character drives the stories, and the joys they find in simple kindnesses are cathartic for her readers to experience. Somehow without imposing a moral, Grover makes readers co-conspirators to the characters who resist allowing the boarding schools to define the lives of their students. This alone is cause for reading this collection.

Ryan Winn is the Humanities Department chair at College of Menominee Nation in Keshena and Green Bay, WI.

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