September Book Group – "A Yellow Raft in Blue Water"

This important book by Michael Dorris tells the story of three generations of Native American women who are beset by hardships and torn by angry secrets and yet inextricably joined by bonds of kinship. We had an interesting discussion about the book’s main theme of individualism: what it means and how it was addressed through the three lives of the central characters. We also came to realize, through our comments, how privileged we are to live in such comfort while there are still people who don’t even have indoor plumbing. We agreed that we liked the book, although the story it told was not happy, by any means.

Michael Dorris wrote several other books before his death in 1997. He was divorced from the writer Louise Erditch, who writes almost exclusively about Native Americans and their culture.

If you enjoyed “A Yellow Raft in Blue Water,” you might be interested in reading the following works by Michael Dorris:

The Crown of Columbus (with Louise Erdrich, 1991)

Route Two and Back (with Louise Erdrich, 1991)

Morning Girl (1992)

Working Men (1993)

Rooms in the House of Stone (1993)

Paper Trail (essays, 1994)

Guests (1995)

Sees Behind Trees (1996)

Cloud Chamber (1997)

The Window (1997)