The Way We Make Sense
Young Indiana Redpaint, traded by her father for a rodeo entry fee, flees Oklahoma to be raised by her grandparents in North Carolina. A generation later, her daughter Manna, whose life is deeply marked by her mother's losses, runs from her own tragic past and catches up with her destiny—guided by a cast of unforgettable characters: Candy, a two-year old baby girl abandoned by her mother Sugar Begay; Silas Pipe, a Vietnam veteran with a glitzy past who has built an oasis in the desert; J.B., his grass-dancing nephew; and Bill Lawton, a widowed carpenter who can chisel life out of wood. Here in Gallup, New Mexico, Manna eventually finds wholeness and healing in unexpected people and places.
…a sparkling, wildly original and inventive novel…Her characters are red, white, black, and brown, but above all they are real.
— David Citino, author of The Book of Appassionata
…Pettigrew weaves poetry and prose in an exquisite and powerful story that moves in time and space, bringing past, present, future, and the dream-time together in the best of written Native literary tradition. The Way We Make Sense is a critically important work.
— Lee Francis, National Director, WordCraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers
Dawn Karima Pettigrew is a writer undaunted by the big questions that bedevil us. She's the writer you will turn to when, once again, you understand that the heart never fits its wanting.
— Lee K. Abbott, author of Wet Places At Noon
Indian Rodeos, family generations, food stamps, lost loves, and the red earth of Oklahoma are all squares in the quilt sewn by Pettigrew's memorable words. I recommend this book to anyone who has a love for real stories well told.
— Joseph Bruchac, author of Breaking Silence
120 pp | Paperback | 2002 | 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches | ISBN 9781879960664