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"Roofwalker" book cover


In a collection by the author of The Grass Dancer, a Lakota spirit travels the night sky in search of good dreams that are rendered true when he consumes them, from a Dakota elder’s hope to return to her prairie home to a Harvard student’s reevaluation of the learning process. Roofwalker, made up of a unique combination of fiction and nonfiction, or “stories” and “histories,” reveals the ways that native traditions and beliefs work in the lives of characters who live far from the reservation—and in the author’s own life. Many of the “histories” repeat subjects and themes found in the “stories,” making Roofwalker a book in which spirits and the living commingle and Dakota culture and modern life collide with disarming power, humor, and joy.


“Susan Power understands how historic truth threads the maze of the imagination. Roofwalker is a book of wild humor and compassion.”

—Louise Erdrich

“The stories and essays in Roofwalker portray women and men negotiating an impossible path between Native American culture and a transplanted urban life in Chicago. Susan Power is a product of such extremes, and her experience dominates this masterly mix of fiction and nonfiction.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“Vivid imagination and skillful writing...There’s an undeniable element of truth in her fiction and a deft touch of magic in stories of her family.”

—Miami Herald

“The fiction and the essays here feel inextricably linked...Among the things they share is Power’s inventive, clear-eyed prose.”

—New York Times Book Review

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