Blaine book review: “Calling for a Blanket Dance” by Oscar Hokeah


“Calling for a Blanket Dance” is a moving tale of the power of heritage and generational connections. Author Oscar Hokeah stitches together a series of distinct narrative vignettes to create a unified story; one deeply profound and heartbreaking, yet also uplifting and inspiring.

The thread running throughout the book is the life of Ever Geimausaddle. Ranging from 1976 to 2013, “Calling for a Blanket Dance” begins with Geimausaddle’s early exposure to extreme violence in his infancy and spans to the struggles of navigating adulthood and particularly the challenges he faces as the father of a troubled adopted son.

Hokeah’s talent is on full display in “Calling for a Blanket Dance,” as he pieces together a series of compelling short stories to tell a full tale. These stories convey the generational trauma that is part of the Indigenous experience, balanced by the connection and hope one can find in grounding in heritage and community. Each chapter is a lived experience and perspective, full of life and evoking empathy, but also a patchwork piece of the larger narrative that forms to unfold Geimausaddle’s  life.

Geimausaddle’s story is one of trauma, rage and anger, but tempered by kinship, hope and healing. “Calling for a Blanket Dance” is a beautiful reminder that trauma and violence doesn’t need to change one’s narrative forever. These experiences leave scars, but with time and effort, we can heal from them.

“Calling for a Blanket Dance” should appeal to readers of contemporary fiction, memoirs and those looking for a greater understanding of the Indigenous experience in North America.

Visit to find “Calling for a Blanket Dance” and other similar stories. “Calling for a Blanket Dance” is the June selection for the Books & Bites book group. Join Books & Bites at Blaine Public Library at 1 p.m. Friday, June 21 for a time of community and lively conversation. For more information, visit,

Jonathan Jakobitz is an avid reader and the branch manager of Blaine Public Library.


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