There is nothing particularly noteworthy about an Easter turkey. But when the turkey is stark white and appears on Easter Sunday on the doorstep of a Lakota medicine woman and her teenage granddaughter, it is clearly out of the ordinary. Taking turns, Stella and her grandmother, Hazel Latour, tell the story of what follows as the mysterious turkey stirs up discord on the reservation, where some greet it as "wakan," holy and sacred because of its coloring and timing, and others dismiss it as inexplicable but unimportant, while a less reputable local healer views it as a clear challenge to his standing. A tour de force of storytelling, "The Sacred White Turkey" is at once remarkably entertaining, rich with suspense and humor, and deeply philosophical, exploring questions of spirituality and power, abuse and trickery, all within a framework that embraces both Native and Catholic traditions. As the Latours find themselves the target of escalating violence, embroiled in a BIA leasing scandal, and witnesses to a turkey crucifixion, readers will find themselves thoroughly engaged in the unfolding mystery and meaning of the sacred white turkey.
Praise for Frances Washburn's previous novel, Elsie's Business: "A haunting debut." Booklist "Washburn writes the truest Native American novel. Though she rejects the typical Native subject matter, the structure of her story embraces the deepest Native traditions in their oblique approach to 'truth.'" Review of Contemporary Fiction "An outstanding, original, engaging narrative of a Native community and survivance." Gerald Vizenor, author of Native Liberty: Natural Reason and Cultural Survivance