|The story of a seventeenth-century Mohawk woman’s interaction with her land, the Jesuits, and the religion they brought.
In The Reason for Crows, award-winning author Diane Glancy continues her project begun in Pushing the Bear: A Novel of the Trail of Tears and Stone Heart: A Novel of Sacajawea. Imagining the interior voice of Kateri Tekakwitha, Glancy relays the story of the young, seventeenth-century Mohawk woman who would later become known as the “Lily of the Mohawks.” Left frail, badly scarred, and nearly blind from a smallpox epidemic that killed her parents, Kateri nevertheless takes part in the daily activities of her village—gathering firewood, preparing meals, weaving, and treating the wounded after skirmishes with the French and enemy tribes. When the Jesuits arrive in her village, she receives their message and converts to Christianity. In this imaginative and poetic retelling, Kateri’s interior voice is intertwined with the interior voices of the Jesuit missionaries—the crows—who endured their own hardships crossing the ocean and establishing missions in an unfamiliar land. Together, they tell a story of spiritual awakening and the internal conflicts that arise when cultures meet.
“…Glancy does a remarkable job of capturing the voice and thoughts of a girl who has been dead for more than three hundred years and who lived in a time and culture that no longer exist.” — Magill’s Literary Annual 2010
“In rich and moving images, Glancy creates a girl of questions, confusion, and penance.” — World Literature Today
“The Reason for Crows, though short, is a complex and deceptively heavy novel. Glancy uses striking imagery in overlapping and contradicting ways to ask engaging and still-relevant questions of her reader. No two people who have witnessed the same event will tell the exact same story, and Glancy handles the different perspectives, tones, and experiences of each narrator very carefully, constructing a version of history that is believable and intelligent.” — Rain Taxi
“…a lancingly beautiful journey into pain and spirit.” — Booklist
“Diane Glancy is a storier of native remembrance at the verge of history. The Reason for Crows is an inspired first-person memoir of Kateri Tekakwitha, the daughter of a Christian mother and a Mohawk Chief. Kateri was touched by the Jesuits and ‘set apart by God.’ Pockmarked by smallpox and orphaned as a child in the late seventeenth century, she comes alive in the emotive voice of an eminent literary artist, a particular union of native spirits and God.” — Gerald Vizenor, author of Father Meme
Diane Glancy is the author of numerous works of poetry, drama, fiction, and creative nonfiction. She has received an American Book Award, the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry, the Native American Prose Award, and a Sundance Screenwriting Fellowship.