Read Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer: A Story of Survival by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke Online


“A name creates life patterns,” Allison Adelle Hedge Coke writes, “which form and shape a life; my life, like my name, must have been formed many times over then handed to me to realize.” Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer is Hedge Coke’s narrative of that realization, the award-winning poet and writer’s searching account of her life as a mixed-blood woman coming of age off-reserva“A name creates life patterns,” Allison Adelle Hedge Coke writes, “which form and shape a life; my life, like my name, must have been formed many times over then handed to me to realize.” Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer is Hedge Coke’s narrative of that realization, the award-winning poet and writer’s searching account of her life as a mixed-blood woman coming of age off-reservation, yet deeply immersed in her Cherokee and Huron heritage. In a style at once elliptical and achingly clear, Hedge Coke describes her schizophrenic mother and the abuse that often overshadowed her childhood; the torments visited upon her, the rape and physical violence; and those she inflicted on herself, the alcohol and drug abuse. Yet she managed to survive with her dreams and her will, her sense of wonder and promise undiminished.The title Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer refers to the life-revelations that brought Hedge Coke through her trials, the melding of language and experience that has brought order to her life. In this book, Hedge Coke shares the insights she has gathered along the way, insights that touch on broader Native issues such as modern life in the diaspora; the threat of alcohol, drug abuse, and violence; and the ongoing onslaught on self amid a complex, mixed heritage....

Title : Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer: A Story of Survival
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780803215276
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 206 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer: A Story of Survival Reviews

  • David
    2019-03-31 06:00

    This is an amazing story. I won't lie, there are some horrible things in this book. Not everything will be pleasant. The most amazing this is not only did Hedge Coke survive these horrors, but she preserved her ability to laugh and revel in the beauty of the world. The writing is sometimes poetic, and sometimes plainly bold in setting forth terrible things that happened without flinching or becoming maudlin. Simply put, they happened and she survived. The book is an emotional and beautiful story. Just be prepared, the writing is enjoyable...but not everything is easy to read about.

  • Brenda Mantz
    2019-04-09 08:55

    This book could serve as a text for how to write a memoir.

  • Lisa
    2019-04-04 08:02

    Could not put this one down. If your ever feeling sorry for youself read this remarkable story of courage and survival. Wow...just read it. Incredible.

  • Gretchen
    2019-04-11 03:54

    It's difficult to say that I liked or even enjoyed this book. It was full of family dysfunction, mental illness, physical, emotional and drug abuse; however, I was so taken with the author and her grittiness, I desperately wanted her to find peace and happiness. Allison Adelle Hedge Coke is mixed race, of Native American (Cherokee) heritage and Huron, Muscogee, French-Canadian, Portuguese, English, Alsace-Lorraine, Welsh and Irish. Much of Allison's young life is spent learning the ancient Native ways with her father while attempting to steer clear of her schizophrenic mother, who is both abusive and very delusional. Interesting family dynamics are played out among Allison and her older sister and younger brother. Allison's mother makes it known to her that she was not wanted and always hated by her. Meanwhile, the older sister suffers none of this abuse and the younger brother is also spared and even doted on during the mother's rare lucid moments.This abuse leads Allison to suffer in school, becoming a bully and getting into trouble with the law at a very young age. During this time in her life, the family moves from Texas to North Carolina, which proves to be disastrous for her, as Native Americans were not welcomed by whites in the early 1970's. The one bright spot in her education in North Carolina was the author finding a voice and an outlet through poetry. Her tumultuous family life and longing for a better life leads young Allison to run away, hitchhiking through several states. During this attempt at fleeing to a better life, she finds herself in familiar patterns of drug abuse, sexual abuse, alcoholism, and abusive relationships. During these trying teenage years, she never loses hope that the next "thing" or relationship will be better. She is a very hard worker, always preferring to work manual labor jobs where she can utilize her strength and street smarts. I admired that about her. She knew she couldn't rely on others and always seemed to be able to find work despite her gender and limited education. She was a survivor who lived in very poor conditions with very little resources, often bearing the marks of physical abuse from whichever man she was with at the time. She seemed to make very poor choices regarding men, but it's understandable considering her upbringing. After enduring some very difficult years, Allison and her two sons move to California on the advice of her sister. It was here that she finally was able to make a life for herself, eventually (finally) helping her mother get the psychiatric care and medication that she desperately needed. She did eventually find true love with her boyfriend Al, who unfortunately succumbed to leukemia. At the time this book was written (2004), she was living in New Mexico and furthering her education at the Institute for American Indian Art.

  • Jay Shelat
    2019-04-04 07:00

    A book of this length usually wouldn't take me a week to read, but I had to spread out the reading. It wasn't because I'm on Spring Break, but it's because Hedge Coke's story is unbelievably upsetting. I didn't want to ruin my week-long vacation with a huge dose of sadness; I took it bit-by-bit. Rock,Ghost,Willow,Deer recounts the life of Allison Hedge Coke, who, as the subtitle suggests, is a survivor. Written beautifully, her compelling story teaches the reader to persevere no matter what the circumstances. This poor woman was raped at least three times. AT LEAST THREE. Yet, somehow, she found the courage and strength to carry on. I salute you, ma'am for your fortitude, bravery, and wisdom.This is a memoir. Memoirs, unlike autobiographies, allow for a moment of reflection. The writer spins his or her tale and then explains how he or she grew or matured from a particular experience. Hedge Coke's moments of reflection are breathtaking because in them the reader sees her endurance and optimism; that is to say, she shows the reader that no matter what happens, it can get better. You simply need to find the strength within and fight. Rock,Ghost,Willow,Deer is a great read.

  • Malcolm
    2019-04-11 11:18

    Blunt, honest, gritty, this is one of the best stories of an individual's formative years that I've ever read.

  • Ruth
    2019-04-23 10:58

    tragic story told beautifully, not an easy thing to do.

  • Amy Little
    2019-04-06 12:19

    This was wonderful! I think every woman should read this book. It is remarkable and is told with poetic clarity. It took me less than two days to read. I cannot recommend it enough!

  • Faith Colburn
    2019-04-08 05:00

    A harrowing tale of a family dealing with mental illness and what it does to the children.

  • Robin Yaklin
    2019-04-19 06:15

    Wow! Parts of it are hard to take, but then she hasn't had an easy time of it. I know Allison. She's a delightful person and fantastic writiing teacher.

  • Alison
    2019-03-25 10:07

    Ok guys, this is my first review. Bear with me. Basically, this crazy-ass woman lovely lady grows up with her Native American family outside of a reservation. Her mother was a psycho bitch with schizophrenia, and since this was during the dark ages of the mental health field, all she ever received were shock treatments that left her loopier than a kid huffing paint. Gotta love the '50s. Oh, and her sister gives off the air of one of those two-faced bitches who are really only nice to people when they want something, which is nothing compared to her even more insane brother, who finds pleasure in beating up his parents and setting his legs on fire.Anywho, Allison does really well in school and stuff (she simultaneously played the roles of both jock and bully to the bullies), but I guess she randomly leaves when she's like 10 or something and spent the majority of her teen years running around with hippies and friends of friends. Long story short, she gets pregnant from her abusive husband not once, but twice, stays with him despite the fact he beats the poop out of her almost every night, eventually gets enough sense to leave his ass, then spends the rest of her life roaming from state to state somehow getting teaching jobs at art colleges.Obviously, I've left some things out. To be honest, I felt she made the story a lot more complex than it really was. She would randomly talk about how her diverse Native heritage helped her through it.What? I don't think so. At least, I'm hoping her ancestors didn't help her get raped three times or become a drug addict. Despite her numerous stupid mistakes, I have to give her major props -- she pulled through it all like a boss and finally ended up with a life she enjoyed with her two children. It's not easy making life bright when it already sucks at home and everywhere else, so that took some major skills and determination on her part. I am proud to add Allison Adelle HedgeCoke to the list of badass women I need to look up to.

  • Maureen Stanton
    2019-04-22 07:14

    I was swept into this word of Hedge Coke's adolescence, her courage in the face of extraordinary trauma, and the occasional and necessary meditative moments when tending to horses or gardening that provided some respite in the author's life, and for the reader as well. I appreciated the background and context of Huron/Cherokee and indigenous cultures that infused her ethos and spirit: forgiving, generous, naive, hopeful, quietly powerful. I love the voice and writing, and there were passages that just lifted off the page.

  • Catherine
    2019-04-03 07:11

    Never pity, just wonder how one can live this life. The book pulled me from revulsion to tenderness. By the end of the book I wanted to put my arms around Allison, and then I realized she is carried through life by a force and spirits that give her the leash to live.

  • Nikki Wilson
    2019-04-05 07:55

    While her stories are interesting, I started to loose interest in them after a while because of how depressing they always seemed to be. Nevertheless it was a worthwhile read.