When Susan Power burst onto the literary scene with her first book, The Grass Dancer, critics called it “the real thing” (Los Angeles Times) and “extravagantly inventive” (Washington Post). Power’s novel of Native American life went on to win the PEN/Hemingway Award and become a national bestseller. In Roofwalker, Power returns with equally magical prose to tell the stories of both imaginary and real figures who live mostly away from the reservation yet palpably feel its influence and see its ghosts in their daily lives.
Roofwalker evokes a world in which spirits and the living commingle and Sioux culture and modern life collide with disarming power, humor, and joy. The characters grapple with potent forces of family, history, and belief—forces that at times dare them to do more to feed their identity, and at times simply paralyze them. Rich with women who do things, this book gives voice to characters who make space for contradictions in their lives with varying success and, by extension, live the “Indian way” to varying degrees.
Like this book? Sign up for occasional updates
Praise and Prizes
“Susan Power understands how historic truth threads the maze of the imagination. Roofwalker is a book of wild humor and compassion.”
“The stories and essays in Roofwalker portray women and men negotiating an impossible path between Native American culture and a transplanted urban life in Chicago. Susan Power is a product of such extremes, and her experience dominates this masterly mix of fiction and nonfiction. . . . Power reshapes [an] age-old story with poetic grace and universal appeal.”
“The fiction and essays here feel inextricably linked, not forced together; among the things they share is Susan Power’s inventive, clear-eyed prose.”
“Susan Power’s vivid imagination and skillful writing make it hard to tell reality from fantasy. There’s an undeniable element of truth in her fiction and a deft touch of magic in stories of her family. . . . Her lyrical prose is memorable and magical.”
“Susan Power writes about children, old people, college students, murderers and spirits as if she knew them all intimately. Her tales are quirky and arresting, stark and compassionate.”
“Susan Power’s voice is authentic and lyrical. . . . It is also to Power's credit that she does not seek to represent Indian reality as a perfect past ruined only by the arrival of whites—that she allows the culture its flaws, the people their sins.”