Remnants of the First Earth
Author: Ray A. Young Bear
Publisher: Grove Press (1998)
Ray A. Young Bear's work has been called "magnificent" by The New York Times and "a national treasure" by Bloomsbury Review. Dazzlingly original, but with deep roots in his traditional Mesquakie culture, Young Bear is a master wordsmith poised with trickster-like aplomb between the ancient world of his forefathers and the ever-encroaching "blurred face of modernity".
Remnants of the First Earth continues the story of Edgar Bearchild—Young Bear's fictionalized alter ego—which began with Black Eagle Child, a New York Times Notable Book for 1992. Young Bear revisits the Black Eagle Child Settlement and its residents, including Ted Facepaint, Rose Grassleggings, Junior Pipestar, Lorna Bearcap, and Luciano Bearchild. At the center of the novel is a murder investigation involving a powerful shaman holding court at the local Ramada Inn, negligent white cops from nearby Why Cheer, and corrupt tribal authorities. This lyrical narrative swirls through the present and into the mysteries of the age-old stories and myths that still haunt, inform, and enlighten this uniquely American community.