David Treuer's Prudence offers an aboriginal angle on WWII

Celebrated author David Treuer says his new novel, Prudence, challenges the notion that WWII was something that happened "out there, to other people".
David Treuer says expectations of aboriginal authors are "very deep but very narrow". (Penguin Random House)

The notion that aboriginal people are outside of modern history really irks David Treuer. The celebrated author has once again challenged that assumption through his writing, situating his most recent novel in a Minnesota Ojibway reservation and neighbouring German prisoner of war camp. 

His World War II novel, Prudence, tells the story of a young man visiting his family before joining the war.

Today the former Guggenheim fellow joins guest host Jelena Adzic to discuss his history-expanding story, the "deep but very narrow" expectations readers seem to have of indigenous writers, and how his own grandfather's suicide echoes in the pages of his book.  

"What they like thinking about are the three Fs: food, folklore and fashion. They don't like talking about the ways that real differences can create real problems," says Treuer. 

*Click on the listen button above to hear the full segment (audio runs 18:08)


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