Coyote Springs

4240 Words17 Pages
|[pic] | Study Guide From Booklist Coyote Springs is an all-Indian Catholic rock band from the Spokane Reservation in eastern Washington, and if their career eventually crashes and burns, the novel they inhabit soars like that elusive fifth chord. A Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian and the author of the critically acclaimed The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1993), Alexie mixes biting black humor, a healthy dose of magic, and sparkling lyricism to produce a remarkably powerful story with roots not only in Native American mythology, but also in the equally potent history of rock 'n' roll. Alexie's characters,…show more content…
In 1931, Robert Johnson allegedly sold his soul to the devil, receiving legendary blues skills in return. He went on to record only twenty-nine songs before being murdered on August 16, 1938. In 1992, however, Johnson suddenly reappears on the Spokane Indian Reservation and meets Thomas Builds-the-Fire, the misfit storyteller of the Spokane Tribe. When Johnson passes his enchanted instrument to Thomas--lead singer of the rock-and-roll band Coyote Springs--a magical odyssey begins that will take the band from reservation bars to small-town taverns, from the cement trails of Seattle to the concrete canyons of Manhattan. Sherman Alexie imaginatively mixes narrative, newspaper excerpts, songs, journal entries, visions, radio interviews, and dreams to explore the effects of Christianity on Native Americans in the late twentieth century. In addition, he examines the impact of cultural assimilation on the relationships between Indian women and Indian men. Reservation Blues is a painful, humorous, and ultimately redemptive symphony about God and indifference, faith and alcoholism, family and hunger, sex and death. From The Oxford Companion to English Literature – a definition of magical realism: Magic realist novels and stories have, typically, a strong narrative drive, in which the recognizably realistic merges with the unexpected and the inexplicable and in which elements of dreams, fairy story, or mythology combine with the everyday, often in a mosaic or kaleidoscopic pattern of refraction and recurrence. The page numbers in the Study Guide refer to the Warner Books Paperback Edition, 1996 Chapter 1 – Reservation Blues Reservation
Open Document