Due to the evoloving situation and caution re: COVID-19, we have cancelled this event. We hope to reschedule at a later date.
Sierra Crane Murdoch, journalist and author, will read from and discuss her new book, Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country, both a gripping true story of a murder on an Indian reservation and a remarkable portrait of the unforgettable Arikara woman who becomes obsessed with solving it, this is an urgent work of literary journalism and social criticism that is not to be missed. Bill McKibben, longtime mentor and friend of the author, will act as interlocutor for this discussion featuring Yellow Bird.
Monday, March 30, 7 p.m.
Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society
2 Duane Ct, Middlebury
Presented by the Vermont Book Shop, CVUUS and Middlebury Showing Up for Racial Justice. Also of note, CVUUS is hosting a book discussion that begins Thurs, Feb 13, 2020 at 6:30 pm in their Sanctuary on An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. Both books are available from the Vermont Book Shop. Please note: Yellow Bird doesn't publish until February 25, 2020 but we are are taking pre-orders
When Lissa Yellow Bird was released from prison in 2009, she found her home, the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, transformed by the Bakken oil boom. In her absence, the landscape had been altered beyond recognition, her tribal government swayed by corporate interests, and her community burdened by a surge in violence and addiction. Three years later, when Lissa learned that a young white oil worker, Kristopher "KC" Clarke, had disappeared from his reservation worksite, she became particularly concerned. No one knew where Clarke had gone, and few people were actively looking for him.
Yellow Bird traces Lissa's steps as she obsessively hunts for clues to Clarke's disappearance. She navigates two worlds—that of her own tribe, changed by its newfound wealth, and that of the non-Native oilmen, down on their luck, who have come to find work on the heels of the economic recession. Her pursuit of Clarke is also a pursuit of redemption, as Lissa atones for her own crimes and reckons with generations of trauma. Yellow Bird is an exquisitely written, masterfully reported story about a search for justice and a remarkable portrait of a complex woman who is smart, funny, eloquent, compassionate, and—when it serves her cause—manipulative. Drawing on eight years of immersive investigation, Sierra Crane Murdoch has produced a profound examination of the legacy of systematic violence inflicted on a tribal nation and a tale of extraordinary healing.
“This book is a detective story, and a good one, that tells what happens when rootless greed collides with rooted culture. But it’s also a classic slice of American history, and a tale of resilience in the face of remarkable trauma. Sierra Crane Murdoch is a patient, careful, and brilliant chronicler of this moment in time, a new voice who will add much to our literature in the years ahead.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?
Sierra Crane Murdoch is a journalist based in the American West, has written for The Atlantic, The New Yorker online, Virginia Quarterly Review, Orion, and High Country News. She has held fellowships from Middlebury College and from the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a MacDowell Fellow.