Paideia Summer Reading

The Paideia Program is happy to announce the 2024 summer reading, Oscar Hokeah’s Calling For A Blanket Dance. The entire first-year class plus many faculty, staff, and Decorah community members will share the experience of reading and discussing this powerful book.

Join the Conversation

Courtesy of the Paideia Program, first-year and transfer students will be mailed the book in mid-June. Don’t forget to complete your reading of Calling For A Blanket Dance before you arrive on campus in August!

Summer Reading Guide

Calling For a Blanket Dance is the first reading assignment for Paideia 111. A reading guide will be provided with your book. Use the background and study questions to guide your reading and prepare for class discussions.

2024 Paideia Summer Reading Guide COMING SOON

About the Book

Oscar Hokeah’s electric debut takes us into the life of Ever Geimausaddle, whose family—part Mexican, part Native American—is determined to hold onto their community despite obstacles everywhere they turn. Ever’s father is injured at the hands of corrupt police on the border when he goes to visit family in Mexico, while his mother struggles both to keep her job and care for her husband. And young Ever is lost and angry at all that he doesn’t understand, at this world that seems to undermine his sense of safety. Ever’s relatives all have ideas about who he is and who he should be. His Cherokee grandmother, knowing the importance of proximity, urges the family to move across Oklahoma to be near her, while his grandfather, watching their traditions slip away, tries to reunite Ever with his heritage through traditional gourd dances. Through it all, every relative wants the same: to remind Ever of the rich and supportive communities that surround him, there to hold him tight, and for Ever to learn to take the strength given to him to save not only himself but also the next generation.

How will this young man visualize a place for himself when the world hasn’t made room for him to start with? Honest, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, Calling for a Blanket Dance is the story of how Ever Geimausaddle finds his way home.

About the Author

Oscar Hokeah holds an M.A. in English from the University of Oklahoma, with a concentration in Native American Literature. He also holds a B.F.A. in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), with a minor inIndigenous Liberal Studies. He is a recipient of the Truman Capote Scholarship Award through IAIA, and also a winner of the Native Writer Award through the Taos Summer Writers Conference. Hokeah has written for Poetry & Writers, Literary Hub, World Literature Today, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere.

Oscar Hokeah is a regionalist Native American writer of literary fiction, interested
in capturing intertribal, transnational, and multicultural aspects within two tribally
specific communities: Tahlequah and Lawton, Oklahoma.  He was raised inside
these tribal circles and continues to reside there today. He is a citizen of Cherokee
Nation and the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma from his mother (Hokeah and Stopp
families), and he has Mexican heritage from his father (Chavez family) who
emigrated from Aldama, Chihuahua, Mexico.

You can find the Stopp family (Cherokee) in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and the Hokeah
family (Kiowa) in Lawton, Oklahoma.  Family on his Kiowa side (Hokeah, and
Tahsequah through marriage) organized the Oklahoma Gourd Dance Club for over
a decade, and he has family members actively involved with the Kiowa Tia-Piah
Society, Comanche War Scouts Society, and Comanche Little Ponies Society.

Oscar Hokeah has spent nearly 20 years empowering Native American
communities.  From his work in Santa Fe, NM with Intermountain Youth Centers
and the Santa Fe Mountain Center, he has worked with Pueblo, Apache, and Diné
peoples.  Currently, living in his home town of Tahlequah, Oklahoma (in the heart
of Cherokee Nation), he works with Indian Child Welfare, where he gives back to
the community that nurtured and embedded the Indigenous values he passes
along to his children.

Oscar’s debut novel was recently longlisted for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medal
for Excellence in Fiction.

Hokeah will be the speaker at the Opening Convocation on Thursday, September 5, 2024.