Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Susan Power  

Pen Name: None

Genre:

Born: 1961 in Chicago, Illilnois

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Power was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Power is a Standing Rock Sioux from Chicago. She earned her bachelor's degree from Harvard University and a JD from Harvard Law School. After a short career in law, she decided to become a writer, starting her career by earning an MFA from the Iowa Writer's Workshop.Her short fiction has been published in the Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, Voice Literary Supplement, Ploughshares, Story, and The Best American Short Stories 1993. She teaches at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

The Grass Dancer
ISBN: 0425159531

Berkley. 1997

Inspired by the lore of her Sioux heritage, this “captivating”(New York Times Book Review) critically-acclaimed novel from Susan Power weaves the stories of the old and the young, of broken families, romantic rivals, men and women in love and at war...

Set on a North Dakota reservation, The Grass Dancer reveals the harsh price of unfulfilled longings and the healing power of mystery and hope. Rich with drama and infused with the magic of the everyday, it takes readers on a journey through both past and present—in a tale as resonant and haunting as an ancestor's memory, and as promising as a child's dream.



WINNER OF THE ERNEST HEMINGWAY FOUNDATION AWARD FOR FIRST FICTION

Strong Heart Society
ISBN: 0399142126

G P Putnam's Sons. 1998

Roofwalker
ISBN: 157131041X

Milkweed Editions. 2004

Roofwalker, made up of a unique combination of fiction and nonfiction, or "stories" and "histories," reveals the ways that native traditions and beliefs work in the lives of characters who live far from the reservation—and in the author’s own life. Many of the "histories" repeat subjects and themes found in the "stories," making Roofwalker a book that in which spirits and the living commingle and Sioux culture and modern life collide with disarming power, humor, and joy. The first seven pieces in the book are "stories," fictional accounts primarily of girls and women. In the title story, a young girl believes in the power of the "roofwalker" spirit to make her dreams come true. In "Beaded Souls," a woman is cursed by the sin of her great-grandfather, an Indian policeman who arrested Sitting Bull. "First Fruits" follows a native girl’s first-year at Harvard. The nonfiction pieces include Power’s imaginary account of the meeting of her Phi Beta Kappa father and Sioux mother, a piece about the letters of an Irish ancestor and another in which Power and her mother visit the Field Museum in Chicago, where a native ancestor’s dress is on display.


Awards

-- ''The Grass Dancer'' won the Ernest Hemmingway Foundation Award in 1995 for Best First Fiction