“Featherweight”
by Sterling HolyWhiteMountain
from the April 5, 2021 issue of The New Yorker

I don’t know the work of Sterling HolyWhiteMountain, but I’m looking forward to trying it out. Googling him (so please do let me know if there is more information I’m missing), it appears he currently teaches at Stanford after getting his MFA from the University of Iowa, and that he is working on a story collection. I don’t see any information about any other books, though it appears some of his work has appeared in volumes 1 and 2 of Off the Path: An Anthology of 21st Century American Indian and Indigenous WritersThe Atlantic, and elsewhere. In his interview with The New Yorker he says he’s working what he thinks is two novels.

Here is how “Featherweight” begins:

When I first met my love, I had been off my reservation for a little more than a year. I had become acculturated, we’ll say, to university life — and willingly! I wanted to know what larger America was all about. I took on the aspect of a young dog; everything was new to me, I had my nose up everyone’s ass. First there was Lana, then Julie, then . . . a few other names I can’t remember, and then there was Barbara. That should have been the name of a grandmother, but in fact it belonged to a sweet thing who liked to call me her favorite indian toy.

So let’s go get to know HolyWhiteMountain’s work together! Please leave your thoughts below. I look forward to reading them and sharing my own when I have read the story in its entirety.

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