Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Susan Power  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1961 in Chicago, Illilnois

-- Susan Power on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Power was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Power is a Standing Rock Sioux from Chicago. She earned her bachelor's degree from Harvard University and a JD from Harvard Law School. After a short career in law, she decided to become a writer, starting her career by earning an MFA from the Iowa Writer's Workshop.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.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Grass Dancer
ISBN: 0425159531

Berkley. 1997

Inspired by the lore of her Sioux heritage, this “captivating”(New York Times Book Review) critically-acclaimed novel from Susan Power weaves the stories of the old and the young, of broken families, romantic rivals, men and women in love and at war...

Set on a North Dakota reservation, The Grass Dancer reveals the harsh price of unfulfilled longings and the healing power of mystery and hope. Rich with drama and infused with the magic of the everyday, it takes readers on a journey through both past and present—in a tale as resonant and haunting as an ancestor's memory, and as promising as a child's dream.


Strong Heart Society
ISBN: 0399142126

G P Putnam's Sons. 1998

ISBN: 157131041X

Milkweed Editions. 2004

In Roofwalker, Native American writer Susan Power explores the complexities of contemporary Native American life. Featuring both fiction and nonfiction — "stories" and "histories" — the book shows the ways that native traditions and beliefs work for characters who live physically and spiritually far from the reservation. The first seven pieces are "stories," such as the title tale in which a young girl believes in the power of the "roofwalker" spirit to make her dreams come true or "Beaded Souls," in which Maxine Bullhead, living in Chicago, is cursed by the sin of her great-grandfather, an Indian policeman sent to arrest Sitting Bull. The last five pieces are "histories" that repeat subjects and themes found in the earlier section, making Roofwalker a book in which spirits and the living commingle and Sioux culture and modern life collide with disarming power, humor, and joy.


''The Grass Dancer'' won the Ernest Hemmingway Foundation Award in 1995 for Best First Fiction

Speaking Engagements

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