Send a Runner
A Navajo Honors the Long Walk
Published by: University of New Mexico Press
200 Pages, 5.50 x 8.50 in, 34 halftones
- 9780826364548 | September 2022
- 9780826362339 | April 2021
- 9780826362346 | April 2021 (Adobe Digital Editions)
2022 Southwest Books of the Year
The Navajo tribe, the Diné, are the largest tribe in the United States and live across the American Southwest. But over a century ago, they were nearly wiped out by the Long Walk, a forced removal of most of the Diné people to a military-controlled reservation in New Mexico. The summer of 2018 marked the 150th anniversary of the Navajos' return to their homelands. One Navajo family and their community decided to honor that return. Edison Eskeets and his family organized a ceremonial run from Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, to Santa Fé, New Mexico, in order to deliver a message and to honor the survivors of the Long Walk.
Both exhilarating and punishing, Send a Runner tells the story of a Navajo family using the power of running to honor their ancestors and the power of history to explain why the Long Walk happened. From these forces, they might also seek the vision of how the Diné--their people--will have a future.
"The authors pass the baton back and forth, their relay race in book form crossing the finish line with aplomb. Its language observes the color of the modern world alongside the nuance of complex history. This is not a parachute job, but people who live and feel right here."--Julie Ann Grimm, Santa Fe Reporter
"(Edison Eskeets's) collaboration with skilled writer Jim Kristofic uniquely interweaves the Navajo people's painful history with personal commitment and, ultimately, optimism for the future. . . . Kristofic's engaging writing style achieves an effective back-and-forth between occasional vignettes from different points in Eskeets's past and frequent episodes--often humorous, occasionally poignant--from out on the road."--John Kissane, PodiumRunner
"With starkly beautiful prose, the authors bring all of this to urgent life, vividly depicting the numerous outbreaks of brutal violence and clearly demonstrating the remarkable resiliency of the Diné. . . . A unique, important addition to the literature on the Navajo."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"In describing an aging Navajo's long-distance run to mark how a painful episode in that tribe's past ends in triumph, Eskeets and Kristofic revisit a noteworthy chapter in Native American history. As he tells it, an old story lives again as a deeply human, contemporary event of lasting magnitude."--Paul G. Zolbrod, author of Diné bahané: The Navajo Creation Story
"As Edison Eskeets commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Navajo Long Walk, a forced march by the US Government into captivity, with a punishing fifteen-day, 330-mile long-distance run, he is followed by the history of his people and their resistance and courage, and he is accompanied by the spirits of those who have come before. Eskeets and Jim Kristofic take us along on a journey of heroic physical sacrifice in all its cultural and spiritual significance in Send a Runner."--Bruce J. Gjeltema, University of New Mexico-Gallup