Download PDF Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer: A Story of Survival

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The most amazing this is not only did Hedge Coke survive these horrors, but she preserved her ability to laugh and revel in the beauty of the world. The writing is sometimes poetic, and sometimes plainly bold in setting forth terrible things that happened without flinching or becoming maudlin.

Download Rock Ghost Willow Deer A Story Of Survival American Indian Lives

Simply put, they happened and she survived. The book is an emotional and beautiful story This is an amazing story. The book is an emotional and beautiful story. Just be prepared, the writing is enjoyable Dec 18, Brenda Mantz rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to write memoir. This book could serve as a text for how to write a memoir.

Jan 30, Lisa rated it it was amazing.


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Could not put this one down. If your ever feeling sorry for youself read this remarkable story of courage and survival. View 1 comment. It's difficult to say that I liked or even enjoyed this book. It was full of family dysfunction, mental illness, physical, emotional and drug abuse; however, I was so taken with the author and her grittiness, I desperately wanted her to find peace and happiness.

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Much of Allison's young life is spent learning the ancient Nativ It's difficult to say that I liked or even enjoyed this book. Much of Allison's young life is spent learning the ancient Native ways with her father while attempting to steer clear of her schizophrenic mother, who is both abusive and very delusional. Interesting family dynamics are played out among Allison and her older sister and younger brother. Allison's mother makes it known to her that she was not wanted and always hated by her. Meanwhile, the older sister suffers none of this abuse and the younger brother is also spared and even doted on during the mother's rare lucid moments.

This abuse leads Allison to suffer in school, becoming a bully and getting into trouble with the law at a very young age. During this time in her life, the family moves from Texas to North Carolina, which proves to be disastrous for her, as Native Americans were not welcomed by whites in the early 's. The one bright spot in her education in North Carolina was the author finding a voice and an outlet through poetry. Her tumultuous family life and longing for a better life leads young Allison to run away, hitchhiking through several states. During this attempt at fleeing to a better life, she finds herself in familiar patterns of drug abuse, sexual abuse, alcoholism, and abusive relationships.

During these trying teenage years, she never loses hope that the next "thing" or relationship will be better.

Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer

She is a very hard worker, always preferring to work manual labor jobs where she can utilize her strength and street smarts. I admired that about her. She knew she couldn't rely on others and always seemed to be able to find work despite her gender and limited education. She was a survivor who lived in very poor conditions with very little resources, often bearing the marks of physical abuse from whichever man she was with at the time. She seemed to make very poor choices regarding men, but it's understandable considering her upbringing.

After enduring some very difficult years, Allison and her two sons move to California on the advice of her sister.

It was here that she finally was able to make a life for herself, eventually finally helping her mother get the psychiatric care and medication that she desperately needed. She did eventually find true love with her boyfriend Al, who unfortunately succumbed to leukemia. At the time this book was written , she was living in New Mexico and furthering her education at the Institute for American Indian Art. Jan 29, Malcolm rated it it was amazing. Blunt, honest, gritty, this is one of the best stories of an individual's formative years that I've ever read.

Nov 19, Ruth rated it it was amazing. Mar 21, Amy Little rated it it was amazing. This was wonderful! I think every woman should read this book. It is remarkable and is told with poetic clarity. It took me less than two days to read. I cannot recommend it enough! Jan 11, Faith Colburn rated it it was amazing. A harrowing tale of a family dealing with mental illness and what it does to the children.

Jan 04, Robin Yaklin rated it it was amazing Shelves: memoir. Parts of it are hard to take, but then she hasn't had an easy time of it. I know Allison. She's a delightful person and fantastic writiing teacher.

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Dec 23, JR rated it it was amazing. Really powerful memoir and beautifully honest. Content warning for domestic violence, sexual assault, mental health issues, family violence issues. Mar 27, Alison rated it liked it Shelves: book-reviews , books-i-own.

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Ok guys, this is my first review. Bear with me. Basically, this crazy-ass woman lovely lady grows up with her Native American family outside of a reservation. Her mother was a psycho bitch with schizophrenia, and since this was during the dark ages of the mental health field, all she ever received were shock treatments that left her loopier than a kid huffing paint.

Gotta love the '50s. Oh, and her sister gives off the air of one of those two-faced bitches who are really only nice to people when Ok guys, this is my first review. Oh, and her sister gives off the air of one of those two-faced bitches who are really only nice to people when they want something, which is nothing compared to her even more insane brother, who finds pleasure in beating up his parents and setting his legs on fire. Anywho, Allison does really well in school and stuff she simultaneously played the roles of both jock and bully to the bullies , but I guess she randomly leaves when she's like 10 or something and spent the majority of her teen years running around with hippies and friends of friends.

Long story short, she gets pregnant from her abusive husband not once, but twice, stays with him despite the fact he beats the poop out of her almost every night, eventually gets enough sense to leave his ass, then spends the rest of her life roaming from state to state somehow getting teaching jobs at art colleges. Obviously, I've left some things out.

To be honest, I felt she made the story a lot more complex than it really was. She would randomly talk about how her diverse Native heritage helped her through it. I don't think so. At least, I'm hoping her ancestors didn't help her get raped three times or become a drug addict. Despite her numerous stupid mistakes, I have to give her major props -- she pulled through it all like a boss and finally ended up with a life she enjoyed with her two children.

It's not easy making life bright when it already sucks at home and everywhere else, so that took some major skills and determination on her part. Add to cart. Be the first to write a review About this product. About this product Product Information "A name creates life patterns," Allison Adelle Hedge Coke writes, "which form and shape a life; my life, like my name, must have been formed many times over then handed to me to realize.

In a style at once elliptical and achingly clear, Hedge Coke describes her schizophrenic mother and the abuse that often overshadowed her childhood; the torments visited upon her, the rape and physical violence; and those she inflicted on herself, the alcohol and drug abuse.

Yet she managed to survive with her dreams and her will, her sense of wonder and promise undiminished. The titleRock, Ghost, Willow, Deerrefers to the life-revelations that brought Hedge Coke through her trials, the melding of language and experience that has brought order to her life.

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In this book, Hedge Coke shares the insights she has gathered along the way, insights that touch on broader Native issues such as modern life in the diaspora; the threat of alcohol, drug abuse, and violence; and the ongoing onslaught on self amid a complex, mixed heritage. Additional Product Features Dewey Edition. Her carefully chosen words are like snapshots in their ability to capture her struggle just to remain alive and, later, her journey to a place of peace.

It's a journey that slashes at reader's emotions but also celebrates the ability of the human spirit to battle on and the power of the author to let us share the road with her. Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deeris one read that you will not forget. She is often unflinchingly succinct in her telling of some painful event, and other times, especially when describing moments when she is close to death, she offers us lyric gems She travels like a liminal being, moving fluidly across boundaries between prose and poetry, dream and reality, myth and history, animal and human, the personal and political.

Statistics about alcoholism and family violence among dispossessed American Indians fail to show the sheer human suffering it causes and the personal heroism of those who struggle through to an integrated life. Hedge Coke was endowed by her Cherokee father with insights into the Indian way of life, but the pressures of prejudice and her mother's insanity drove her into years of drug and alcohol abuse as well as into abusive relationships.

She writes in a stately, unashamed manner of beatings and binges, always connecting her personal sufferings to the larger questions of how Indian people can reclaim their cultural and personal pride and authority. Her story will inspire anyone who has faced adversity. And the ability to seamlessly weave the tobacco fields of childhood with the stark plains and hills of South Dakota. And more than all thatthe shining spirit of compassion. That's what we do when we tell stories. But coming to know by experience and telling about it is another.

Ortiz, author of Out There Somewhere. Hers was also a 'childhood forged schizophrenically. Hedge Coke's love of land and people rings out as hard as steel and as true.