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Calling for a Blanket Dance  By  cover art

Calling for a Blanket Dance

By: Oscar Hokeah
Narrated by: Oscar Hokeah,Rainy Fields
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Publisher's Summary

A moving and deeply engaging debut novel about a young Native American man finding strength in his familial identity, from a stellar new voice in fiction.

Told in a series of voices, Calling for a Blanket Dance takes us into the life of Ever Geimausaddle through the multigenerational perspectives of his family as they face myriad obstacles. His father’s injury at the hands of corrupt police, his mother's struggle to hold on to her job and care for her husband, the constant resettlement of the family, and the legacy of centuries of injustice all intensify Ever’s bottled-up rage. Meanwhile, all of Ever’s relatives have ideas about who he is and who he should be. His Cherokee grandmother urges the family to move across Oklahoma to find security; his grandfather hopes to reunite him with his heritage through traditional gourd dances; his Kiowa cousin reminds him that he’s connected to an ancestral past. And once an adult, Ever must take the strength given to him by his relatives to save not only himself but also the next generation of family.

How will this young man visualize a place for himself when the world hasn’t given him a place to start with? Honest, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, Calling for a Blanket Dance is the story of how Ever Geimausaddle found his way to home.

©2022 Oscar Hokeah (P)2022 Algonquin Books

Critic Reviews

“With intricate prose and unflinching vernacular, Oscar Hokeah chronicles a family and a community. We learn trials and aspirations for each generation, and witness what is woven into complicated arrival. We need these characters and their testimonies. But more than that, we crave–I crave—this kind of honest storytelling. These rhythms. These dances. This beauty. This welcoming to a place where the people speak and are unafraid.”—Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, author of The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois

Calling for a Blanket Dance is a stunning novel. Oscar Hokeah writes from deep inside the heart of his communities, bringing life to generations of voices who became so real to me they felt like relatives. The reader can't help but invest in each character as they navigate bitter challenges, sometimes surprising themselves with their strength, their ability to survive and love. Hokeah's prose gorgeously weaves authentic local vernacular with the lyrical notes of hard-won insight. This novel belongs on every recommended booklist for fans of literary fiction.”—Susan Power, author of The Grass Dancer 

​“With solid Tommy Orange vibes, the first novel from Oscar Hokeah is a coming-of-age tale told from a chorus of multigenerational voices . . . One to watch, for sure.”BookPage, 2022 Preview: Most Anticipated Fiction

What listeners say about Calling for a Blanket Dance

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Excellent Audio Novel

This novel takes readers ( listeners) through the story of an American family. Specifically a Native American family in Oklahoma. It covers generations of drama in a elegantly structured presentation with members telling their own stories. Such a novel is tricky to write well but the author has made a story that grips readers. In the audiobook the narrators are so very aithentic and make us feel we know the characters. The text is excellent and the audio presentation is a delight. Highly recommended.

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Like listening to a symphony

If you think it's *simply* about identity from the summary, then use your credit on this to prove yourself wrong. Personally, it's my first read of anything Native American and I'm glad it got to be Oscar's debut book. The narrative decision to utilize literally a variety of voices while maintaining the spotlight on Ever was a stroke of genius. Refreshing, honestly, and I think captured the interconnectedness of identity the book was going for. Other than the stylistic choices, the writing in itself was hypnotic that I *had* to stop myself from listening to it in one sitting--I wanted to savor those 6 hours. Not perfect though cuz the interjection of past on present was sometimes not as smooth as it should be. Narration didn't feel as emotive as the words were and didn't do the lyricality of it enough justice. Overall, love the book!

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Calling for a Blanket Dance has inspired me !

I absolutely loved the story and how it evolved from beginning to end. I makes me want to start making baby quilts like I use to do. I love the family stories and especially how a blanket dance was used to raise funds for those in need. Thanks for this memorable novel, Oscar.