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School for Tricksters: A Novel in Stories Chris Gavaler

School for Tricksters: A Novel in Stories

Chris Gavaler

Published
ISBN : 9780870745638
Hardcover
248 pages
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 About the Book 

This is a novel in stories depicting radical incidents of racial crossing in the early twentieth century. The alternating chapters are closely based on two real-life students, Ivy Miller, a semi-orphaned white girl seeking a free education, andMoreThis is a novel in stories depicting radical incidents of racial crossing in the early twentieth century. The alternating chapters are closely based on two real-life students, Ivy Miller, a semi-orphaned white girl seeking a free education, and Sylvester Long, a black youth escaping the Jim Crow South. Both passed illegally as Indians while attending the U.S. governments most prestigious Indian boarding school.“From the painful reality of the Carlisle Indian School, Chris Gavaler has created a unique and compelling work of fiction. He takes two real-life students—Iva (Ivy) Miller and Sylvester Long—and imagines the ambiguities and challenges of their experience passing themselves off as Indians both at Carlisle and later in the white world. The result is a nuanced and provocative story that evokes central issues of identity—Native American, African American and white American.”—Kate Buford, author of Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim ThorpeCarlisle is riddled with internal conflict and corruption, from its beleaguered Jewish superintendent to its abusive football coach, sports legend “Pop” Warner. Struggling Modernist poet Marianne Moore teaches here beside Indian artist and activist Angela DeCora and her husband Lone Star Deitz—a white man posing as an Indian to boost his sports career. Here, too, among the historical figures who populate Gavaler’s fiction, is Olympian Jim Thorpe, whose fate is entwined with that of Ivy Miller and Sylvester Long.“A work of vivid imagination and impressive narrative skill, this very readable work richly contributes to a fuller understanding of the phenomenon of racial ‘passing.’”—Donald B. Smith, author of Long Lance: The True Story of an Imposter“School for Tricksters offers a fresh and innovative story that exposes a handful of high-profile characters who were, in the authors words, ‘all pretending.’ From the platform of the school bandstand to sports venues around the world, this daring novel treats the reader to real stories of real people making mischief in new and daring ways. A great read!”—Barbara Landis, Public Historian, Carlisle Indian School