A haunting novel spanning several generations, 'The Seed Keeper 'follows a Dakota family’s struggle to preserve their way of life, and their sacrifices to protect what matters most.

THE SEEDKEEPER

Milkweed Editions

Coming March 2021

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Rosalie Iron Wing has grown up in the woods with her father, Ray, until, one morning, he doesn’t return. Told she has no family, Rosalie is sent to live with a foster family in nearby Mankato ― where she meets rebellious Gaby Makespeace, in a friendship that transcends the damaged legacies they’ve inherited. Years later, Rosalie returns to her childhood home and begins to confront the past, on a search for family, identity, and a community where she can finally belong. In the process, she learns what it means to be descended from women with souls of iron ― women who have protected their families, their traditions, and a precious cache of seeds through generations of hardship and loss, through war and the insidious trauma of boarding schools.



 

Weaving together the voices of four indelible women, The Seed Keeper is a beautifully told story of reawakening, of remembering our original relationship to the seeds and, through them, to our ancestors.

Wilson convincingly asserts that "our daily lives are only the tip of the mountain that rises above hundreds of years of generations whose experience, acknowledged or not, has everything to do with the people we become."

Publishers Weekly

2006

SPIRIT CAR: JOURNEY TO A DAKOTA PAST
Borealis Books, 2006
$17.95, paperback, 224 pages

MHSPress, Amazon, Birchbark Books

Spirit Car is an exquisite counterpoint of memoir and carefully researched fiction, a remarkable narrative that ties modern Minnesotans to the trauma of the Dakota War. Wilson found her family’s love and humor—and she discovered just how deeply our identities are shaped by the forces of history. 
—MHSP

Wilson has written a heartfelt love story filled with pain and trauma, but also redemption. She writes simply and beautifully, getting close to her subjects by listening intently and with palpable curiosity. "We find ways to transcend the trauma so that we no longer identify as victims," writes Wilson. "We become free to work toward justice for our communities." "Beloved Child" is inspirational and deeply empowering.

 

Chuck Leddy

Star Tribune,

September 1, 2011

BELOVED CHILD:

A DAKOTA WAY OF LIFE
Borealis Books, 2011
$17.95, paperback, 224 pages

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Among the Dakota, the Beloved Child ceremony marked the special, tender affection that parents felt toward a child whose life had been threatened. This book explores the work of several modern Dakota people who are continuing to raise beloved children: Gabrielle Tateyuskanskan, an artist and poet; Clifford Canku, a spiritual leader and language teacher; Alameda Rocha, a boarding school survivor; Harley and Sue Eagle, Canadian activists; and Delores Brunelle, an Ojibwe counselor. Each of these humble but powerful people teaches children to believe in the “genius and brilliance” of Dakota culture as a way of surviving historical trauma. —MHSP

This is the northern voice on race—multiple perspectives and divergent experiences, but a common call for change on one of the most pressing issues of our time. Brave and poignant, full of true grit and wisdom, 'A Good Time for the Truth' is a compelling challenge to us all.

 

Anton Treuer

author of Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians but Were Afraid to Ask

A GOOD TIME FOR THE TRUTH: RACE IN MINNESOTA
Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2016
$18.95, paperback, 224 pages

MHSPress, Amazon, Birchbark Books

Minnesota communities struggle with some of the nation’s worst racial disparities. In this anthology, sixteen of Minnesota’s best writers provide a range of perspectives on what it is like to live as a person of color in Minnesota. They bring us generously into experiences that we must understand if we are to come together in real relationships. As its authors confront and consider the realities that lie beneath the numbers, this book provides an important tool to those who want to be part of closing those gaps. —MHSP

WriterSpeakerBog Steward

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© 2020  Diane Wilson  

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dianewilsonwords@gmail.com

Diane Wilson is a fiscal year 2019 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.