It is August 1942. Frankie Washburn has left his life as a Princeton student to return to the Pines, his family's rustic Minnesota home on an Indian reservation, one last time before he joins the Air Force. Waiting for him are his parents; the Indian caretaker he spent childhood summers quietly shadowing; Billy, a longtime friend who has become something much more intimate; and the news that a German prisoner-of-war has escaped from the camp across the river. The search for the German soldier culminates in a shocking act of violence with consequences that will shape the characters' lives. In Prudence, David Treuer '92 pushes the boundaries of gender, race, and sexual orientation to tell a story of loss and desire in World War II-era America. Nobel Prize-winning author and professor emeritus Toni Morrison calls the novel 'a wondrous and mesmerizing narrative — intricate, seductive, and wholly gratifying."
Treuer, an Ojibwe from the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota, is the son of an Ojibwe Indian mother and an Austrian Jewish father who fled the Holocaust. He is the author of three other novels, as well as nonfiction titles Native American Fiction: A Userâs Manual and Rez Life. He teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.