The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon: A Novel Paperback
by Tom Spanbauer. Edition Date:: 01/06/2000
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Set against the harsh reality of an unforgiving landscape and culture, The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon provides a vision of the Old West unlike anything seen before. The narrator, Shed, is one of the most memorable characters in contemporary fiction: a half-Indian bisexual boy who lives and works at the Indian Head Hotel in the tiny town of Excellent, Idaho. It's the turn of the century, and the hotel carries on a prosperous business as the town's brothel. The eccentric characters working in the hotel provide Shed with a surrogate family, yet he finds in himself a growing need to learn the meaning of his Indian name, Duivichi-un-Dua, given to him by his mother, who was murdered when he was twelve. Setting off alone across the haunting plains, Shed goes in search of an identity among his true people, encountering a rich pageant of extraordinary characters along the way. Although he learns a great deal about the mysteries and traditions of his Indian heritage, it is not until Shed returns to Excellent and witnesses a series of brutal tragedies that he attains the wisdom that infuses this exceptional and captivating book.
About the Author
Haunting and earthy, this deeply felt tale of love and loss is told by Shed, a half-breed bisexual Indian. In the 1880s, Shed, only a boy, is raped at gunpoint by the man who then murders his mother; he is then raised by Ida Richilieu--prostitute, mayor of Excellent, Idaho, proprietress of a hotel/BLEEP painted pink. Under Ida's tutelage, Shed becomes a berdache , or holy male prostitute, and makes love to resident hooker Alma Hatch, a former Bible saleswoman. Leaving home to seek the meaning of his Indian name, he becomes friend and lover of Montana rancher Dellwood Barker, who converses with the moon and may well be his father. Returning to Idaho, the two men join Ida and Alma in an odd extended family involving various sexual liaisons. Then the four black Wisdom brothers come to town: after Ida defends them against racist Mormons, ensuing events cause Dellwood to lose his marbles, Ida to lose her legs and Shed to lose his innocence as he discovers his true identity. Spanbauer ( Far Away Places ) fuses raunchy dialogue, pathos, local color, heartbreak and a serious investigation of racism in this stunning narrative.