Thoughts about Voices in the Stones?

I just received a request from woman in a community that is using Voices in the Stones as its community reads selection.  She asked if I had any readers’ guide or questions they could use for discussion.  I decided that I would put that to you readers.  You know better than I what is significant for readers in that book.  So, please send me your thoughts: What are good subjects or questions for discussion groups who are reading Voices in the Stones?  I would love to hear from both Native and non-Native readers.


  1. Ann Culter says:

    I am a non-native reader. One of the most important elements in Voices in the Stones was the discussion on “acknowledgement” of injustices. I had the privilege of incorporating that into a speech I gave last year, and I will always be humbled by that experience. I never realized until then what an impact acknowledgement has. Acknowledgement has to precede forgiveness.

  2. Bruno Goffin says:

    Dear Kent,
    In 2006 I saw a pile of books on the floor of a bookshop in Johannesburg. The title was Neither Wolf nor Dog. As I am a dog (owners) trainer, I thought “That something for me”. Fortunately it turned out to be something else and something much better than another book about dogs. In the same year I was initiated as a New Warrior in the ManKindProject. Since then I have bought and read (and re-read) all your books. Now I have moved into another stage, buying your books and offering them to friends. When we meet, we speak about Dan and Grover as if they are brothers. Dear Kent I am sending you my blessings as an elder. Thanks for having written these books for us.
    ONE LAST QUESTION: HAVE YOUR BOOKS BEEN TRANSLATED IN SPANISH? I want to start giving them to my Spanish brothers who do not speak, nor read English.

  3. knerburn says:

    Thank you for the kind words, Bruno. I’m thrilled when my works find their way across the various ponds to folks in other countries. I wish I could tell you about Spanish editions. You should write She is their foreign rights person. She will know if any of the works have been translated into Spanish and who the publishers might be. Thanks again.

  4. Ann Culter says:

    1) How has religion, in part, made us separate from the earth as opposed to being part of it? Have our individual rights of self worked against compassion and caring of the less fortunate?
    2)How has the lack of teaching the Native American story hurt these people, ignoring their very existence, marginalizing their accomplishments (among them, the practice of sustainability for thousands of years and looking ahead seven years), and reducing their image to caricatures?
    3) How did the boarding schools crush Native American culture? How did that affect Native American parenting? How did that cause PTSD?
    4) Do we, as descendants of white European culture, bear some responsibility for the “blood on the trail” barrier between our cultures? Are we able to acknowledge the injustices done to this culture? What is the power of acknowledgement?
    5) What continued disparity exists presently in funding of Native American programs in relationship to our own? Why?
    6) Do we fail to listen and, instead, try to push our views on others? What is the Native American view of religion?
    7) How does our society view and treat the elderly as a whole as opposed to Native Americans? Why do Native Americans serve their elders first?
    8) What is the value in an elder guiding a young one, not by violence, but by the stigma of being shamed?
    9) What lessons did Native American children learn by being solely responsible for a task? How does that differ, or does it, from our culture?
    10) What power do words have, and how is this power aided by the ability to remain silent?
    11) How has our Western way of dominance reduced our ability to see life in all things around us, compelling us to control it? Regarding sustainability and preserving the earth, air, and water, how well is that working for us? We think that we can solve everything, but can we? What about Hanford, the Valdez, the leaking pipe at Standing Rock?
    12) What are we leaving for future generations of our children? Are we leaving them in good health or in poor health with shorter life spans? What can we do individually and collectively do about this?
    13) What will you remember about this book? What will it change within you?

  5. knerburn says:

    This is amazing! Thanks so much, Ann. I’m passing it along to the group that was interested.

  6. Marc Allen says:

    Ann, that’s really a thought-provoking list. And Kent, you have some of the most intelligent readers of any writer I know. It shouldn’t be surprising, I guess, given the kind of books you write. They appeal not only to our hearts and souls, but stimulate our minds as well.

    You’re one of the finest writers living today. I’m blessed and honored to be publishing some of your books. They’re helping to make the world a better place, for you’re able to move your readers in a way that awakens compassion and even love for all people, and for our life-giving, sacred earth.

    May you live to be 100, and keep writing more amazing books…

  7. Shelley says:

    I just read Marc Allen’s comments above and I just wanted to ‘second’ that. I brag about your books to everyone I know, and I have given them to many people myself. I always tell people my 2 favorite writers of all times is Tolstoy and Kent Nerburn !! That’s a pretty big compliment I’d say 🙂 I just gave my son a copy of your book to your son also, since he just became a father. You always make me feel like I am ‘right there’ on your journeys and your gift for making us ‘feel that’ is just so extraordinary. Write till the day you die, Mr Nerburn. You will always have an audience.

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