This Town Sleeps

This Town Sleeps

By Dennis E Staples

"Set on an Ojibwe reservation in northern Minnesota. . . the story of Marion Lafournier, a gay Ojibwe man, and his search for meaning in a town he cannot seem to leave. When he begins a romance with a closeted former high school classmate Shannon, Marion finds himself struggling to connect with the volcanic and unstable man.


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Book Information

Publisher: Counterpoint LLC
Publish Date: 03/03/2020
Pages: 224
ISBN-13: 9781640092846
ISBN-10: 1640092846
Language: English

What We're Saying

November 01, 2022

Celebrate Native American/Indigenous Heritage Month with this list of recommended reading. We see you, and we read you. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

June 01, 2022

Pride Month Booklist

By Gabbi Cisneros

Through both joyous celebrations and more difficult work and learning, we can strive to become better allies or LGBTQIA+ community members. We see you, and we read you. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

June 25, 2020

This Town Sleeps

Book Review by Roy Normington

Dennis E. Staples blends history, native culture, family secrets, and personal identity seamlessly while keeping readers guessing in this new novel. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

A "tender, suspenseful, irresistible first novel" that explores Indigenous legend, queer relationship, and the power of landscape and lineage to shape our lives (Louise Erdrich, author of The Round House).

An unsolved murder becomes the fixation of an Indigenous American man living in far northern Minnesota as he grapples with his relationship with a closeted white man. On an Ojibwe reservation called Languille Lake, within the small town of Geshig at the hub of the rez, two men enter into a secret romance. Marion Lafournier, a midtwenties gay Ojibwe man, begins a relationship with his former classmate Shannon, a heavily closeted white man. While Marion is far more open about his sexuality, neither is immune to the realities of the lives of gay men in small towns and closed societies. Then one night, while roaming the dark streets of Geshig, Marion unknowingly brings to life the spirit of a dog from beneath the elementary school playground. The mysterious revenant leads him to the grave of Kayden Kelliher, an Ojibwe basketball star who was murdered at the age of seventeen and whose presence still lingers in the memories of the townsfolk. While investigating the fallen hero's death, Marion discovers family connections and an old Ojibwe legend that may be the secret to unraveling the mystery he has found himself in. "Elegant and gritty, angry and funny . . . emotional without being sentimental."
--Tommy Orange, author of There, There

About the Author

Dennis E. Staples is an Ojibwe writer from Bemidji, Minnesota. He graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts with an MFA in fiction. He is a graduate of the 2018 Clarion West Writers Workshop and a recipient of the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship. His work has appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction and Nightmare magazine.

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