Waiting for Wovoka by Gerald Vizenor
Wesleyan Unviersity Press, March 2023
In the summer of 1962, a group of young Native American puppeteers travel in a converted school bus from the White Earth Reservation to the Century 21 Exposition, World’s Fair in Seattle, Washington. The five Natives, three young men and two young women, have endured abandonment, abuse, poverty, and find solace, humor, and courage with a mute puppeteer—a Native woman in her seventies who writes original dream songs, and creates hand puppets and ironic parleys that mock the ghosts of authority. Dummy Trout, the mute puppeteer, also figured in Vizenor’s previous books, Native Tributes and Satie on the Seine. The troupe attends a performance of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett and they create a puppet parley for Wovoka, the inspiration of the Native American Ghost Dance Religion.
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