Tears in the Grass
Lynda A. Archer
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Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction — Shortlisted
For Elinor Greystone, the only way forward is back into the past.
At ninety years of age, Elinor, a Saskatchewan Cree artist, inveterate roll-your-own smoker, and talker to rivers and stuffed bison, sets out to find something that was stolen almost a lifetime ago. With what little time she has left, she is determined to find the child taken from her after she, only a child herself, was raped at a residential school.
It is 1968, and a harsh winter and harsher attitudes await Elinor, her daughter, and her granddaughter as they set out on an odyssey to right past wrongs, enduring a present that tests their spirit and chips away at their aboriginal heritage. Confronting a history of trauma, racism, love, and cultural survival, Tears in the Grass is the story of an unflagging woman searching for the courage to open her heart to a world that tried to tear it out.
Chief Piapot, school teacher, grief, land disputes, children, lawyer, loss, Cree, shame, lost child, social injustice,lesbian themes, Plains bison, painter of prairie landscape, sexual abuse, Qu'Appelle valley, residential school, First Nation culture and language, family bonds and disconnections, treaty four 1874, grandmother-granddaughter bond, Indian reserves, museum, rape, 1960s, mother-daughter relationship, bison slaughter, mothers, search for lost child, family secrets and lies, First Nations, racism, prairies