Kent Nerburn

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Rail Man

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2007
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Anyone read Kent Nerburn's amazing trilogy of Neither Wolf nor Dog, The Wolf at Twilight, and The Girl who Sang to the Buffalo? Neither Wolf nor Dog was first published in 1994 with The Girl being published in 2013. I stumbled on Neither Wolf nor Dog at a small town museum in South Dakota about five years ago having never heard of Kent Nerburn but the lady tending the museum highly recommended it. Indeed it was a stunning book I could hardly put down and have reread twice, and the following books are just as good.

Neither Wolf nor Dog is a book of fiction that reads like non-fiction (I thought it actually was a true story until I researched it more), though it is based on experiences Nerburn has had. The book tells the story of Nerburn being contacted by a Lakota elder named Dan that wants Kent to help him write his life story. Dan and his friend Grover take Nerburn (a white man) on a journey across the Lakota reservations of North and South Dakota bridging the gap of understanding between the Indian way of life and the white man's way of life. The book completely transformed my view of white/Indian relations and why they continue to clash to this day. Nerburn is certainly not a hero in this book but that's what makes it work, you can imagine yourself as Nerburn, a bit ignorant on the Lakota culture and way of life being taught things you'd never know without actually visiting a reservation. A movie of this book has been made unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to see it.

The next two books continue with Dan, Grover, and Nerburn following up on other topics, such as the Indian boarding schools and spirituality in everyday life.