2020 McKnight Distinguished Artist award, Marcie Rendon
Nothing in Renee Blackbear’s world had prepared her for college or for the hurt that happens in the Twin Cities.
Most people call Renee Blackbear–the nineteen-year-old Anishinabe woman–“Cash.” Why? Because she drives trucks for cash. She plays pool for cash. She pays with cash. Now she’s in college, thanks to Sheriff Wheaton, the guy who pulled her from her mother’s wrecked car when she was three. Cash has navigated through foster homes and, at 13, was working farms, driving truck.
Turns out she’s smart, real smart, but she’s a duck out of water at Moorhead State. Her classmates and professors talk mostly about nothing, not like the working men she’s known all her life who talk dirt and fertilizer, weather and prices on the Grain Exchange. Then Cash hears about a blonde girl in her English class gone missing. And then another. She begins to dream blonde girls calling for help. They’re in Minneapolis. She’s never been far from the Red River. She’s never heard of White Slavery. And, then, suddenly she’s locked inside a room with the lost girls. She needs to find a way out.
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