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Author Peter Razor to Speak
By Molly Exner
UW-RF News Bureau
APRIL 8, 2005--Award-winning author, Peter Razor, will read his stark,
haunting prose from his book, "While the Locust Slept," at 4:15
p.m., on April 19 in the Chalmer Davee Library Breezeway at the University
of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Razor, a first-time author at age 72, chronicles his survival of abuse
and bigotry as an Ojibwe man at a state orphanage in the 1930s, and the
brutal farm indenture that followed.
Through transcendent prose, Razor recalls his early years as a ward of
the state of Minnesota. Disclosing his story through flashbacks and relying
on research from his own case files, Razor pieces together the shattered
fragments of his boyhood into a memoir that reads as compellingly as a
Abandoned as an infant at the State Public School in Owatonna, Minn.,
Razor is raised by abusive workers who thought of him as nothing more
than "a dirty Injun." Cut off from his family and his heritage,
he turns inward, forced to learn about the world on his own. After failed
attempts to run away from the orphanage, he is indentured by the state
to an abusive, reclusive farm family. Beaten, poorly fed, clothed in rags,
and worked like a slave laborer, he struggles to attend high school and
begins to dream of another life.
Winner of a Minnesota Book Award, Razor's "While the Locust Slept"
presents a stark and often chilling story, devoid of self-pity. Razor
recalls with haunting clarity the years he, like the locust, patiently
waited to awaken and emerge.
Razor currently is an enrolled member of the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwa.
As an adult, Razor researched his past and culture and began dancing in
powwows and learning to make traditional garments. In recent years, he
has received acclaim for the instruments he makes, including hand drums,
rattles and jingles.
For more information, contact Kay Montgomery at 715/425-3742.
Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 16:21:21 Central Daylight Time