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19 comments

  1. Anne Crooks says:

    Dear Kent: I am so relieved to have found your books, I believe through a Mpls newspaper review. I just finished “The Girl Who Sang…” and found it to be one of the most compelling books I have read in a long time. I recommend you to my children, my friends, and especially a grandson who needs to know about you if he doesn’t already. Years ago I wrote “Tales of Spirit Mountain,” about early Duluth-Superior area. I’m not proud of the book necessarily but the research did lead me into some Ojibwe history. There is too much hidden and unrealized. Living on fixed income, I get my books from the library, but I’m going to order my own copy of “The Girl Who Sang…” I will read it again. I love the way you illustrate the Dakota thinking to the reader. Example: “Our world starts out there and comes back to here…” Wonderful. Thank you, Kent. Sincerely, Anne Crooks

  2. Tony Falace says:

    Have read “The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo” and “Neither Wolf nor Dog” spiritual.enlightening and very emotional. Plan on reading all your books. Tony Falace

  3. Andrey Rodrigues says:

    Dear Mr. Nerburn.
    I just wanted to leave a little note and say how much I appreciate to have found your website and your work… Just this morning! I know I will enjoy reading your books and articles as I grow old. Thank you! -andrey/botucatu-SP/Brazil

  4. Kent I have just read three of your works including the trilogy with Dan, Grover, Mary, Jumbo, Wenonah, Yellow Bird, Zi and all the people and animals that have become part of my life. We in Glenda Martin book groups agree that no books have changed our lives as significantly as your writings, including the history we Euro-Americans need to recognize as painful truth.

    Thank you for taking us with you on this overwhelming journey! Isn’t it fact that the oral tradition remains most valid as we rename and reclaim our accurate heritage? I wish Park Rapids High School in 1960 had taught this valuable history so I would have recognized at that time the lived experience of my beloved classmate: Jerry Buckanaga.

    I am grateful to Bemidji State University and the University of North Dakota Indian Studies and Resource Centers that enhance academic knowledge and appreciation of Indian cultures and spirituality.

    With respect and heartfelt appreciation ~Sharon Rezac Andersen

  5. knerburn says:

    Thanks so much, Sharon. Notes like yours are the reason I write. We all have to do our part, whatever it is, to correct this oversight in our cultural knowledge. Coming, as you do, from the north country the interplay of the Native and Euro traditions is bred into your bones. When someone like you speaks highly of my work it is especially gratifying. Thanks for writing.

  6. Shelley says:

    Mr. Nerburn…. Just finished THE GIRL WHO SANG TO THE BUFFALO and am so sad that I’ve come to the end now –I already miss Dan and Grover and especially Jumbo 🙂
    I’ve read your 2 previous books and am thrilled that they are trying to make this amazing book into a movie ! I’ve been to Pine Ridge myself about 5 years ago and met some amazing people and this made your book all the more interesting to read….I always feel as if I’m on your ‘trip’ with you and the gang every time I open your book because your writing is so amazing and heartfelt and it just draws us all into that world…. that amazing, mysterious world ….Being part Lakota myself, but being raised in the ‘white’ world makes me realize how world’s apart our thinking is…. You bring such understanding to the culture more than any other writer I’ve read –with your eloquent writing. I hope you go back over and over again, because I want to keep up with ‘my old friends’— to know how they are doing…. thanks for writing books that I never want to end and keep me thinking about long after I turn the last page…

  7. Neither Wolf Nor Dog is the most compelling book I have read in recent years. The juxtaposition of spirituality, relationship, history, and journey is brilliantly presented. I have been on a difficult four-year journey out of arrogant evangelicalism and the experience of reading Neither Wolf Nor Dog has solidified in me a resolve to yearn for more–to dig deeper and to begin to trust again.

    Thanks.

    Kelly

  8. Greg Rust says:

    Kent,
    Enjoyed your books. In your most recent book you mentioned Harold Iron Shield….I worked with him on The Longest Walk.
    We have lost touch…if you could pass along my greetings to him. I work at Xavier University in Cincinnati. I have a few images to share and a letter from Harold to pass along.
    Greg Rust

  9. Shelley says:

    Mr Nerburn ! We are going to drive 6 hours to come listen to you speak in October at the coffee shop !! Do you have any idea how early we should arrive to be able to get in ? and also the coffee shop has you listed as speaking on their EVENTS calendar at 6 pm, not 7 pm…. We want to make sure we are on time and have a place– so do you know for sure it’s at 7 pm ? Thanks so much !
    Shelley

  10. knerburn says:

    Hmm. The library book club meets at 6, the talk is at 7. I’d better check to see if they want me to be at the book club meeting and if it is open to the public. But from what I know (and I am often the last to know), I am on at 7. Check back and I’ll confirm this tomorrow and repost.

  11. Bill Dobrenen says:

    I just used “Neither Wolf nor Dog” as a text in one of my recent classes. One student said in an essay that it was THE best book that she has ever read. Several other said that it was among the best books they have ever read. Also, we had some great conversations in class about the book. I can’t thank you enough for writing this book. I have purchased several copies and given them to friend and fellow professors. The book has impacted countless lives — including mine.

  12. Michael Fairbanks says:

    Dear?Mr. Nerburn. I have just start your book Chief Joseph, flight of the Nez. perce. I have only made it through the introdution and had to write you and let you know that I was excited. I have read many books on Joseph, and he was always key, and I never realized how important the Nez perce. as a people and as a unit where on that amazing journey. I am looking forward to reading this book. I am a member of the Minnesota Chippewa tribe. White Earth Mississippi. Thank you. Michael Fairbanks

  13. Michael Fairbanks says:

    Hello again. Mr. Nerbuen, I was wondering if there are any writings out there about American Indians fighting for the union or south during. the Civil war. My great great grand father Albert Fairbanks and his brothers were in the 9th Minnesota and the Chippewas were segregated within to become the ones that would out flank and sharp shoot the Confederates. According. to the writings, it was said they were unequaled at that task. And it was said that they had there own kind of yell when they attacked. I just find it very interesting that while the U.S. government was taking there lands they stood up to defend that government against the enemy. Thanks, Michael Fairbanks

  14. knerburn says:

    I am no scholar on Indian affairs, but I know who is, and he is right up in the area from which you came, and is, I believe, an enrolled member of the Leech Lake band of Ojibwe. His name is Tony Treuer. He can be reached through the American Indian resource center at Bemidji State University. You’d have to look it up. But Tony’s your man.

  15. knerburn says:

    Any relation to Quentin, a man I admire deeply? I know his family was originally from White Earth but ended up on Red Lake where they ran a store or hotel back in the early 1900’s, I believe. By the way, thank you for the kind words on the Chief Joseph book. Not as many people find it as I’d like, because I believe that Joseph is one of the truly great Americans, and that the Nez Perce story is one America’s truly great stories. I am always thrilled when someone finds that book and writes me about it. It was a four year labor that was worth all the struggle it took. I am proud of it and deeply gratified that you are enjoying it.

  16. Michael Fairbanks says:

    Good Morning. Thank you for the heads up on Tony, I will contact him. Maybe he has a 9th Minnesota Photo. I would love to be able to see what my G.G.Granddad looked like. In reference to Quentin, I do not know the name. But I have been away from Minnesota for a long time. When I graduated from Detroit Lakes High School, I left for Alaska in 1979. My father was a commercial fisherman here in Juneau, so I spent 15 years fishing with him. since 2000 I have spent alot of time, mainly winters in the tri-city area of Southeast Washington. I have been through the Nez Perce area, and I agree, it is wild and magical. I have been to the Wittman mission several times, and when you mentioned the Rev. Spalding, it rung a bell. Spalding came overland with the Wittmans, he and his wife. Narcissa, and Spaldings wife were the first white women that went over the Rockies. The wittmans stayed there with the Cayuse, and Spalding east to the Nez Perce. One thing I didn’t know was when you mentioned that Joseph’s father was Cayuse. That was really good to learn. I love all that area. The land in that whole area is special, and there is a different layer, a deeper one there. Call it spirtual, I do not know. But I feel it everytime I am there. Including the Columbia Gorge. I have also spent some time at Priest Rapids, where the Dreamer Religon was born. The Wanapam’s where there. They have a very cool museum at Priest Rapids. Thanks for getting back with me. I am very excited to read the rest of your Joseph book. It already as a different flavor then the others I have read. A good flavor. Good Day. Michael

  17. Michael Fairbanks says:

    Thank you Kent. I have just finished Chief Joseph & the Flight of the Nez Perce. Best Joseph/Nez Perce book I have ever read. Your investment in research and time is evident. The Nez Perce people , and there flight will never be forgotten. thank you.

  18. Charles Wilson says:

    Kent- great book Neither Wolf Nor Dog. Even knowing the history as well as I do that book brings home the injustice wrought on the tribes better that any I have read. One thing however- maybe a little more about how the Indians screwed them- selves unknowingly by never banding together to fight the whites from the start. They were more interested in raiding, killing & torturing the other Indians and stealing their horses and women. Just so readers get the whole story. Loved the book though. Our government has given Blacks over a trillion dollars in welfare over the years and they did nothing with it. Indians should have been helped so much more.

  19. knerburn says:

    You’re right, Charles. Some criticism of Native practices and choices probably was in order. I think I tried to embed some in the sections where Dan and Grover talk about victimhood, etc. I warily give myself a pass because the book was written 20 years ago (It’s amazing to contemplate that) and I was still earning my spurs in Indian country. Few folks understood what I was about, and anything I said, either through my voice or through the voices of the people I described, was subject to fierce scrutiny. So, as some of the most insightful observers have said, I pulled my punches a bit. It was more important to me to open the minds and hearts of folks than to mount all the cases possible. I hope I managed to provide some corrective to that in the two subsequent books, especially The Girl who Sang to the Buffalo. As an aside, you should go to Goodreads.com and read some of the comments on The Girl who Sang to the Buffalo. They are incredibly insightful and put some good perspective on Neither Wolf nor Dog as the first book in the series.

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