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The Seed Keeper

Fiction: Literary
Unabridged   11 hour(s)
Publication date: 06/15/2021

A BuzzFeed"Best Book of Spring 2021"
A Bustle "Most Anticipated Debut Novel of 2021
A Bon Appetit "Best Summer 2021 Read
A Thrillist "Best New Book of 2021"

The Seed Keeper

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696603997


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

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Product Description

Rosalie Iron Wing has grown up in the woods with her father, Ray, a former science teacher who tells her stories of plants, of the stars, of the origins of the Dakhóta people. Until, one morning, Ray doesn't return from checking his traps. Told she has no family, Rosalie is sent to live with a foster family in nearby Mankato—where the reserved, bookish teenager meets rebellious Gaby Makespeace, in a friendship that transcends the damaged legacies they've inherited.

On a winter's day many years later, Rosalie returns to her childhood home. A widow and mother, she has spent the previous two decades on her white husband's farm, finding solace in her garden even as the farm is threatened first by drought and then by a predatory chemical company. Now, grieving, Rosalie 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 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.


"Narrator Kyla Garcia portrays four generations of women who preserve seeds and stories. She brings Rosalie Iron Wing to life as she struggles to overcome her past as a foster child, live as the wife of a white farmer, and search for her family and her history.” --AudioFile

"Wilson’s exploration of an Indigenous American family time-shifts over centuries, enhanced by Garcia’s narration of several strong, truth-telling women, using tones that demonstrate their suffering.” --Booklist

"In chapters that shift among the perspectives of four Dakhóta women―including Rosalie's great-aunt, who grew plants because the seeds in her pocket were 'all that's left of my family'―Wilson tracks Rosalie's attempts to understand her family and her roots, and considers how memory cultivates a sense of connection to the land." ―New Yorker

"In elegant prose, Wilson tells a story of one woman's reflections on her life, loss, family, and the seeds she knows are her ancestors and an imperative legacy she must protect at all costs." ―Ms. Magazine, "Most Anticipated Reads of 2021"

"Wilson offers finely wrought descriptions of the natural world, as the voice of the seeds provides connective threads to the stories of her people. This powerful work achieves a deep resonance often lacking from activist novels, and makes a powerful statement along the way." ―Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"A powerful story recounting the attempted genocide of Indigenous people in America―and how they continue to survive." ―Alma, "Best New Books of Spring 2021"

"The Seed Keeper is a deeply empathetic portrayal of a character grappling with a vibrant heritage complicated by pain, loss, and dysfunction. Ultimately, Rosalie comes to terms with who she is, understanding that for her, survival itself is a remarkable feat." ―Sierra Magazine

Author Bio

Diane Wilson (Dakhóta) is the author of a memoir, Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past, which won a Minnesota Book Award and was selected for the One Minneapolis One Read program, as well as a nonfiction book, Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life, which was awarded the Barbara Sudler Award from History Colorado.