A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris

1105 Words4 Pages
While growing up Michael Dorris never encountered a Native American literary character that he could relate too, and being of Modoc Tribe of California descent, this was something that was very important to him. After graduating from Georgetown University, and earning a Master’s Degree at Yale, Dorris began to create these characters and ideas that he had longed for himself during childhood. He married his literary partner, Louise Erdrich, who was also of Native American descent. They had three children together, plus the three that Dorris had adopted, all of which were born on Native American reservations. All three of his adopted children suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome. During a twenty year period before Dorris’ death, he published fourteen books and over one hundred articles. In 1987 he published his first novel “A Yellow Raft in Blue Water.” “A Yellow Raft in Blue Water” is divided into three sections narrated by three different Native American women: Rayona, Christine and Ida. All three of these women are all related. Rayona is the daughter of Christine, and Christine believes she is the daughter of Ida, but Ida is actually her half-sister and cousin. All three sections were a part of a larger story; they all helped support or complete each other. The structure of this novel forces us as readers to be more active. It causes us to look more closely, and fit together the stories of the three women. When the ladies’ are explaining the same event, it sometimes feels
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