The Millions

Post-40 Bloomers: Marcie Rendon Creates Mirrors for Native People

The post was produced in partnership with Bloom, a literary site that features authors whose first books were published when they were 40 or older. 

What is now recognized as the “first Thanksgiving” took place nearly 400 years ago, in 1621, when members of the Wampanoag tribe and Pilgrim settlers sat down together for a three-day feast. The Thanksgiving meal is still central to the occasion today, but we also connect it to a range of other associations—from football to potentially challenging conversations with family to the encroachment of Black Friday. There’s no doubt the holiday has changed. Yet, for some, the image of Native people has not.

When Marcie Rendon was a child, the only representations she saw of her community were set in a distant past that had no bearing on her present reality. Her debut novel Murder on the Red River (Cinco Puntos Press), which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Award, tackles that issue head-on by introducing readers to a young Native woman who is very much an inhabitant of the 20th century.

Renee “Cash” Blackbear is a 19-year-old farm laborer and pool shark who finds herself embroiled in a murder mystery. Having entered the foster system as a child, Cash has a long history with the local sheriff, who is happy to have her help investigating the death of an unfamiliar Native man. in the : “Rendon, a member of the White Earth Anishinabe Nation, masterfully weaves two stories in a seamless, vivid narrative. The first is that of a dead Indian found stabbed in his chest without money or ID; the second is that of Cash’s life, and how she came to be a cue-stick-slinging farm hand, playing pool and

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Millions

The Millions4 min read
Three Must-Read Novels About Artists
A psychological thriller about the money-driven contemporary art world, David Hockney in focus, and a searing graphic novel about Jean-Michel Basquiat. The post Three Must-Read Novels About Artists appeared first on The Millions.
The Millions10 min read
My Chernobyl
"Full disclosure: Chernobyl—the accident, not the HBO series—and I have some shared history." Dispatches from a life lived within 80 miles of the dead zone. The post My Chernobyl appeared first on The Millions.
The Millions9 min read
Tuesday New Release Day: Starring Cusk, Barry, Eltahawy, Foer, Klein, Kois, and More
It's blockbuster season, which means new books from big names: Naomi Klein, Jonathan Safran Foer, Jacqueline Woodson, and Tracey Chevalier. The post Tuesday New Release Day: Starring Cusk, Barry, Eltahawy, Foer, Klein, Kois, and More appeared first o