I have had this book on my shelf for years and know not how it arrived there. Probably borrowed it or picked it up second hand. Thought it was twee new age poetry from the picture on the cover and let it be. I have the Picador 1995 edition - it was 1st published 1994 and won Hemmingway Prize for best first novel and was a best seller. From an internet scan seems to be heavily used as an undergrad lit text still. Also discovered that it is well known for, and has even been researched for, having a spiritual or even life-changing impact on a wide range of people. Perhaps other readers can share their reactions in this regard.<BR><BR>The author, Susan Power, is a member of a Sioux tribe and weaves together stories that are magical, gritty and have deep roots in a rich history and culture that all readers can tap into and be transformed, and apperantly often are. In this way she reminds you of Marqes (and Neruda's poetry) and African writers like Achebe and Ngugi. It would be as large a crime and an insult to reduce this work to an ethnic curiosity and it would be interesting to know from Americans who read this as to how far this happened. It would be an even greater crime to reduce it to a spiritual work as its force comes from tapping into rich cultural traditions and actual historical experiences and not some empty religion or spiritual abstraction. The quality of her writing is amazing and lines sometimes reduce me literally to tears as they are far beyond what I hope to achieve in my own writing. And powerful emotions come for other reasons, to do with what the book somehow unlocks in me. I can only read it now and again and have yet to complete it. (I once wote an essay on what drives creativity, attaching one of my stories, and must revisit it to look for a possible explanation. It can be found at janmbali.blogspot.com) It is the kind of book a writer can produce only once - the whole of her self and that of her ancestors (real and imagined) is poured into it. She seems not to have written another, or at least on the same plane.