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About The Book

FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE * Named a Best Mystery and Thriller Book of all Time by Time

A haunting epic following a Native American government official who investigates the murder of Grace Blanket: an Osage woman who was once the richest person in her territory until the greed of white men led to her death and a future of uncertainty for her family.

When rivers of oil are discovered beneath the land belonging to the Osage tribe during the Oklahoma oil boom, Grace Blanket becomes the wealthiest person in the territory. Tragically, she is murdered at the hands of greedy men, leaving her daughter Nola orphaned. After the Graycloud family takes Nola in, they too begin dying mysteriously. Though they send letters to Washington DC begging for help, the family continues to slowly disappear until Native American government official Stace Red Hawk ventures west to investigate the terrors plaguing the Osage tribe.

Stace is not only able to uncover the rampant fraud, intimidation, and murder that led to the deaths of Grace Blanket and the Greycloud family, but also finds something truly extraordinary—a realization of his deepest self and an abundance of love and appreciation for his native people and their brave past.

About The Author

Linda Hogan is a Chickasaw poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, and activist. She is the author of Dwellings, The Book of Medicines, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; the American Book Award winner Seeing Through the Sun; and Mean Spirit, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She has been the recipient of several awards, including an NEA Fellowship, a Minnesota Arts Board grant, a Lannan Award, and Guggenheim Fellowship. She was also inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame and served as a Writer in Residence for the Chickasaw Nation.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Scribner (January 10, 2015)
  • Length: 384 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781501112454

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Raves and Reviews

"Hogan’s created empathy. She carves a vast tragedy down to a size and shape that will fit into a human heart." —Barbara Kingsolver, Los Angeles Times

“A twisty exploration of not only the darkest parts of the human heart, but also the havoc wreaked by corrupt men and a corrupt nation. Tackling the issue of displacement with precision and insight, Hogan’s storytelling is remarkable, powerful, and essentially human.” —Cady Lang, Time

“The strong, vibrant heart of a people betrayed beats throughout Linda Hogan's magical, brooding and richly textured novel. Mean Spirit is about the cultural disintegration of the Osage Indian tribe as the white world intrudes… Powerful.” Chris Patsilelis, The Washington Post

"Mean Spirit is a story rooted both in truth and mystery, and Linda Hogan has written it beautifully.” —Louise Erdrich, author of The Night Watchman

"This is a powerful, beautiful book. Linda Hogan gives us a true and vivid look at part of a great American tragedy. I wish everyone would read Mean Spirit and begin to understand." —Tony Hillerman, author of the Leaphorn and Chee series

"Linda Hogan's Mean Spirit is a marvel. It is interesting to see how gracefully she, like a number of Native American poetsMomaday, Erdrich, Welch, Silkohas made a very natural move from poetry to the novel. The prose in Mean Spirit is exquisite, the narrative fine, if enraging. This is certainly an auspicious debut." —Jim Harrison, author of The Big Seven

"Mean Spirit is a beautiful and elegiac story, a true American Tragedy, a paradise lost. I loved it, even while it broke my heart." —William Kittredge, author of The Willow Field

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