Books That Inspire 2007

Mean Spirit
Linda Hogan

Early in this century, oil was discovered beneath the Oklahoma land that belonged to members of the Osage tribe. Grace Blanket became the richest person in the territory. She was murdered by the greed of white men. The Graycloud family, who cared for Grace's daughter, began dying mysteriously. Hogan shares an eloquent worldview of the relationship of the tribal members to the land, animals and plants. Offering insight into a dark chapter of Oklahoma history, this novel dismayed me. I turned to history books about Oklahoma. The novel illustrates the historical record, that even after the active fighting and expulsion ceased, the war against Native Americans continued. Hogan is a Chickasaw writer and environmentalist who grew up in Oklahoma. Mean Spirit was one of three finalists for a Pulitzer Prize, and received the Oklahoma Book Award for fiction in 1990. Hogan is the author of several books of poetry and fiction.
Debra H Engel
Associate Dean of Libraries for Public Services
University Libraries