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Gichigami Hearts: Stories and Histories from Misaabekong (Paperback)
Award-winning author Linda LeGarde Grover interweaves family and Ojibwe history with stories from Misaabekong (the place of the giants) on Lake Superior
Long before there was a Duluth, Minnesota, the massive outcropping that divides the city emerged from the ridge of gabbro rock running along the westward shore of Lake Superior. A great westward migration carried the Ojibwe people to this place, the Point of Rocks. Against this backdrop—Misaabekong, the place of the giants—the lives chronicled in Linda LeGarde Grover’s book unfold, some in myth, some in long-ago times, some in an imagined present, and some in the author’s family history, all with a deep and tenacious bond to the land, one another, and the Ojibwe culture.
Within the larger history, Grover tells the story of her ancestors’ arrival at the American Fur Post in far western Duluth more than two hundred years ago. Their fortunes and the family’s future are inextricably entwined with tales of marriages to voyageurs, relocations to reservation lands, encounters with the spirits of the lake and wood creatures, the renewal of life—in myth and in art, the search for meaning in the transformations of our day is always vital. Finally, in one man’s struggles, age-old tribulations, the intergenerational traumas of extended families and communities, and a uniquely Ojibwe appreciation for the natural and spiritual worlds converge, forging the Ojibwe worldview and will to survive as his legacy to his descendants.
Blending the seen and unseen, the old and the new, the amusing and the tragic and the hauntingly familiar, this lyrical work encapsulates a way of life forever vibrant at the Point of Rocks.
About the Author
Linda LeGarde Grover is professor of American Indian studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth and a member of the Bois Forte Band of Ojibwe. Her books The Road Back to Sweetgrass, Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe Year, and In the Night of Memory, all from Minnesota, have earned numerous awards, including the Native Writers Circle of the Americas First Book Award; Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards for Poetry, Memoir, and Fiction; and a Minnesota Book Award for Memoir and Creative Nonfiction. Her book of stories The Dance Boots was the winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize.
"With compelling stories of sacred places, beloved people, myths, legends, and treasured memories, Gichigami Hearts is a moving tribute to the Ojibwe past."—Carolyn Holbrook, author of Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify
"With stories of the essence of land and people, Linda LeGarde Grover weaves a generational history of a sacredness inseparable from place, of the unbroken chain of Anishinaabe existence in Missabekong. Her powerful prose and ethereal poetry wash over the pages like waves along the shore of Lake Superior, revealing a strength of survival that goes beyond memory and reminding us to watch, listen, and breathe."—Gwen Westerman, Minnesota State University, Mankato
"In Linda LeGarde Grover’s Gichigami Hearts, we are given the gift of an intensely personal, and at the same time brilliant, walkthrough of Grover’s part of the Anishinaabe universe. Just a tremendously lovely and unique book."—Erika T. Wurth, author of White Horse