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Susan Power

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Name  Susan Power

Role  Author
Susan Power barelysouthreviewdigitaloducomwpcontentupload

Education  Harvard Law School, Harvard University
Awards  Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award
People also search for  Graham Tullis, Michael Lannon, Ernest Hemingway
Books  The Grass Dancer, Sacred Wilderness, Roofwalker, Die Grastanzer, Danseur d'herbe

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Susan Power (born 1961) (Standing Rock, Dakota) is an author from Chicago, Illinois. Her debut novel, The Grass Dancer (1994), received the 1995 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for Best First Fiction.


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Early life and education

Susan Power was born in Chicago, Illinois and is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Tribe of the Dakotas. Her mother Susan Kelly Power (Gathering of Stormclouds Woman, in Dakota) is also an enrolled member. She is a descendant of Sioux Chief Mato Nupa (Two Bears). At the age of 16, Susan Kelly moved to Chicago from the reservation and started work as a housekeeper. Later she went to law school and became an editor of the University of Chicago Law Review. She was also an activist, founding the American Indian Center in Chicago; increasingly important as the city now has 25,000 American Indian residents.

On the other side of Power's family, her father Carleton Gilmore Power is of New England descent and worked as a salesman in publishing. One of his great-great-grandfathers was governor of New Hampshire. She heard stories that inspired her imagination from both sides. Power attended local schools, then earned her bachelor's degree from Harvard University and a JD from Harvard Law School.

Change to writing

After a short career in law, Power decided to become a writer. She worked as a technical writer and editor, reserving her creative writing for off hours. In 1992 she entered the MFA program at the Iowa Writer's Workshop.

Her 1994 debut novel, The Grass Dancer, has a complex plot about four generations of Native Americans, with action stretching from 1864 to 1986. The work received the 1995 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for Best First Fiction.

Power has written several other books as well. Her short fiction has been published in the Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, Voice Literary Supplement, Ploughshares, Story, and The Best American Short Stories 1993. She teaches at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.


  • The Grass Dancer, Putnam, 1994.
  • Strong Heart Society, Penguin, 1998.
  • Roofwalker, Milkweed Editions, 2002.
  • Sacred Wilderness, Michigan State University Press, 2014.
  • References

    Susan Power Wikipedia

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