The Bird is Gone

Imagine a world where the American government signed a conservation act to “restore all indigenous flora and fauna to the Great Plains,” which means suddenly the Great Plains are Indian again. Now fast-forward fourteen years to a bowling alley deep in the Indian Territories. People that bowling alley with characters named LP Deal, Cat Stand, Mary Boy, Courtney Peltdowne, Back Iron, Denim Horse, Naitche, and give them a chance to find a treaty signed under duress by General Sherman, which effectively gives all of the Americas back to the Indians, only hide that treaty in a stolen pipe, put it in a locker, and flush the key down the toilet. Ask LP Deal and the rest what they will trade to get that key back–maybe, everything.

Stephen Jones writes with a whole new aesthetic and moral sense. He doesn’t sound like any of the rest of us, and I love that – Sherman Alexie

Jones follows his brilliant first novel with another work of pure originality and quirky brilliance. Jones is taking Native American Literature in a new, necessary direction. – Louis Owens

Caustically surreal in the manner of Hunter Thompson, even William Burroughs… – Booklist

The writing is hallucinogenic, varied, fascinating. While reading the novel, big names in writing came to mind: Pynchon, David Foster Wallace, even Faulkner – New Pages

cover options that could have been:

reviews still on-line that I know about: New Pages | North Dakota Quarterly | here (buried about halfway down—this dude HATED this book . . .)

if I’m remembering correctly, too, this is exactly where the title comes from:


and here’s where the whole novel comes from—a pic I noticed tacked onto the bulletin board of the game office in Browning one November:

Somewhere or another, there’s a cover-possibility ramping out of that photograph, too, but who knows where anymore.

And, here’s a couple of ragged snaps from, in this order: Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman (Swamp Thing and Sandman, I’m thinking—can’t recall. Just found them, cleaning up directories on my phone).

bird moore
bird gaiman

That phrase, that title, it always stands out to me.

And, found this in my 1970 Chevy truck. Bought the truck in . . . 2009, maybe? 2010?

yellow truck

And this from Katie Burgert, a student in Charlotte Quinn’s class at DU:

Author: SGJ