The Turtle's Beating Heart

The Turtle's Beating Heart

One Family's Story of Lenape Survival

Book - 2017
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"Grandchildren meet their grandparents at the end," Denise Low says, "as tragic figures. We remember their decline and deaths. . . . The story we see as grandchildren is like a garden covered by snow, just outlines visible."

Low brings to light deeply held secrets of Native ancestry as she recovers the life story of her Kansas grandfather, Frank Bruner (1889-1963). She remembers her childhood in Kansas, where her grandparents remained at a distance, personally and physically, from their grandchildren, despite living only a few miles away. As an adult, she comes to understand her grandfather's Delaware (Lenape) legacy of persecution and heroic survival in the southern plains of the early 1900s, where the Ku Klux Klan attacked Native people along with other ethnic minorities. As a result of such experiences, the Bruner family fled to Kansas City and suppressed their non-European ancestry as completely as possible. As Low unravels this hidden family history of the Lenape diaspora, she discovers the lasting impact of trauma and substance abuse, the deep sense of loss and shame related to suppressed family emotions, and the power of collective memory.

Low traveled extensively around Kansas, tracking family history until she understood her grandfather's political activism and his healing heritage of connections to the land. In this moving exploration of her grandfather's life, the former poet laureate of Kansas evokes the beauty of the Flint Hills grasslands, the hardships her grandfather endured, and the continued discovery of his teachings.
Publisher: Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, [2017]
ISBN: 9780803294936
080329493X
Branch Call Number: 978.1033 LOW D
Characteristics: xiv, 177 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.

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From Library Staff

Discover poignant local connections to Lenape (Delaware) Indian places in North Lawrence, Kansas by the Kansas Poet Laureate (2007-2009). On December 30, 2017 a walking tour was planned to visit Lenape (Delaware) Indian places in North Lawrence, but instead we stayed warm inside the Ballard Cente... Read More »

Poignant local connections to Lenape (Delaware) Indian places in North Lawrence, Kansas by the Kansas Poet Laureate (2007-2009).

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LPL_ShirleyB Dec 20, 2017

A vivid memoir by our 2nd Kansas Poet Laureate is a deep & thoughtful exploration with local connections to Lenape (Delaware) Indian places in North Lawrence and one of the best books published this year!


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LPL_ShirleyB Dec 20, 2017

A vivid memoir by our 2nd Kansas Poet Laureate is a deep & thoughtful exploration with local connections to Lenape (Delaware) Indian places in North Lawrence and one of the best books published this year!

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