Fellow local author Jim Kristofic will be at the Doylestown Bookshop on Saturday to do a reading and signing for his memoir, Navajos Wear Nikes. I've recently had the opportunity to meet Jim in a YA workshop and look forward to reading his book myself. Here's the info:
LIFE ON AN INDIAN RESERVATION… WHAT'S THAT LIKE?
An Evening of Storytelling and Booksigning with Navajos Wear Nikes author Jim Kristofic
WHERE: Doylestown Bookshop
WHEN: May 21st, 6-8 p.m.
Navajos Wear Nikes: A Reservation Life
When Jim Kristofic's family moved across the country to Ganado, Arizona, his life changed forever. Ganado was a "Rez-town" on a reservation the size of West Virginia. More Indians lived on the Rez than anywhere else on earth. White people called them Navajo. They called themselves Diné—The People. For Jim's mother, living among the Navajo was a childhood dream come true. For Jim—who'd just barely learned to tie his own shoelaces—it was the end of the world and the beginning of something new and unforgettable.
In this memoir Jim Kristofic introduces readers to the complex world of the modern Navajo Nation, where Anglo and Navajo coexist in a tenuous truce. It is a place of spirits, where witches haunt the valley at night and the supernatural is part of everyday life. But his friendships with local boys lead Jim to understand the wit of the Navajo language, how to make fry bread, how to find hózhó, a beautiful harmony. He shares tales of rescued "Rez-dogs," a captive hawk, a gang-style murder, an Indian Boy Scout troop, a fanatical Sunday school teacher, a sheep butchering in the middle of the school day, and his friendship with the Navajo bull rider and artist who becomes his stepfather. After the births of his Navajo sister and brother, Jim's family moves off the Rez to an Arizona border town, where he and his family struggle to adapt to the Anglo society that no longer feels like the home he left behind.
With compelling honesty, Navajos Wear Nikes tracks a modern life on the Navajo Reservation, from childhood to manhood. Kristofic recounts the painful, fascinating history of Ganado, Arizona and tells the story of a boy trying to understand the truth of a people and the truth about himself.
Jim Kristofic has worked on and off the "Rez" for more than ten years as a river guide, journalist, and oral historian. He has written for The Navajo Times, Arizona Highways, and High Country News. He and his wife currently live in eastern Pennsylvania with—of course—a rescued dog.
CURRENT PRAISE FOR NAVAJOS WEAR NIKES
"Jim Kristofic combines the spirit of Joseph Campbell and J.D. Salinger to give readers an intimate look at the complexity of life in Navajo country. I rarely have tears when I read the last chapter of a book… with this book I did."
Martha Blue, former Indian country attorney and award-winning author of Indian Trader: The Life and Times of J.L. Hubbell
"This is a story told on many levels. It can be brutally frank, irreverent in places, and funny in others. But it is so serious that it will hold the reader's attention from beginning to end. It brings to Native life a strongly personal and emotional aspect seldom seen, and it will persist in memory long after a first reading."
David Brugge, historian, anthropologist, author of The Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute: An American Tragedy
"Few regionally tied autobiographies have shown as much wit and keen observation as Navajos Wear Nikes by Jim Kristofic." -- Arizona Daily Sun
"Many years ago, a coworker and I thought about preparing a `primer' for non-Navajo newcomers needing to learn the rights and wrongs about living on the Navajo Nation. This book could be used as such a primer."
Ed Chamberlin, National Park Service curator of Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site
"The story of how a minority overcame prejudice and made lifelong friends in the process will resonate with many teens." – Booklist
4 days ago