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How a People Die

It's Saturday morning on the Kwasi Reserve. The citizens are red-eyed and bleary, their shabby houses littered with empty bottles. But this Saturday is different. Last night while her parents partied, a baby girl died in her crib, her body crusted with filth and sores.

RCMP Corporal Thompson stirs up a hornet's nest when he charges the infant's parents with criminal neglect. But who, or what, really killed Annette Joseph? "Tell us how a people die," one character says, "and we can tell you how a people live."

When How a People Die appeared in 1970, its chilling picture of a culture mired in squalor caused an international sensation. Now, as a plague of substance abuse and suicide sweeps Canadian reserves, it is more timely than ever. In a new introduction, author Alan Fry offers alternatives to the bleak future he envisioned in How a People Die.

The controversial novel of death and despair on a BC Indian Reserve. ". . .one of the most sensitive and incisive statements on human alienation I have ever seen."
-N. Scott Momaday, New York Times Book Review

". . .required reading for anyone who is seriously concerned about the [present] social turmoil."
-Vine Deloria, author of Custer Died For Your Sins and God is Red

"Come on Indians, dammit yes, read this book and get angry." -David Monture, Indian News