Ron Querry -
The Death of Bernadette Lefthand
October 8, 1994
About the Author
Ron Querry is the author of two novels, The Death of Bernadette Lefthand and Bad Medicine, both accounts of contemporary American Indian life in the Southwestern United States. The internationally acclaimed Bernadette has been honored with awards from the Mountains & Plains Booksellers and the Border Regional Library Association and as a finalist for the Prix Littraire Regional Book Award in France. In addition to the English language, the novels are translated and published in French, German, and Bulgarian. Querry's non-fiction books include the memoir I See by my Get-Up, a juvenile text Discrimination, and the collection Growing Old at Willie Nelson's Picnic. He has contributed essays, articles, and reviews to a broad range of newspapers and periodicals. With an earned Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico, Querry has taught and lectured at colleges and universities in Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Ohio. He has served as writer-in-residence at the University of Oklahoma and the Amerind Foundation in Arizona.
About this Book
Winner of two regional book awards and overwhelming praise, this haunting first novel about the mysterious death of a young Indian dancer is a stunning portrayal of the spirit and struggles of the Southwest's native peoples. Even today, amid the sere hills of Arizona and New Mexico, the Navajo believe witchcraft is at work. Some suspect it is the unseen force behind the brutal murder of Bernadette Lefthand, a young woman renowned on the Jicarilla Apache reservation for her beauty and graceful dancing. Others suspect Bernadette's hard-drinking husband, Anderson George, who has inexplicably disappeared. Gracie, Bernadette's teenage sister, tries to make sense of the vortex of doom in which the young couple seems to have been caught, while Bernadette's Anglo employer, Starr Stubbs, and an unnamed stranger reveal a tale of betrayal and tragedy. In prose rich with the rhythms and colors of the desert highways, Ron Querry--a member of the Choctaw Nation--paints a vivid portrait of the lives of contemporary Native Americans. A riveting tale of passion, obsession, and destruction, "The Death of Bernadette Lefthand" is a compelling novel about heritage, family, and the dark magic of the twisted soul.