House of Rain ~ by Craig Childs

I wanted to read this because it deals with American Native history but when I first started I was disappointed that it was so literary in nature, more like literary non-fiction which is fine in its place and I liked it well enough. . But then it got good –

*******
House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest
by Craig Childs
2007 / 482 pages
read by author – 15h 21m
rating: 9.75 / history archeology
*******

This is a brilliant book mixing literary creativity with memoir and history (archeology). Craig is an author by trade but has been a variety of things – (see https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/childs-craig-1967-craig-leland-childs )

The same source says this about House of Rain:

House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization across the American Southwest finds Childs journeying throughout the Southwest as he tracks down the mystery of the Anasazi Indians. Ancestors to the modern-day Hopi Indians, the Anasazi lived in what is now known as Arizona and Utah but disappeared a thousand years ago despite having built a prosperous civilization. David Pitt, writing in Booklist, commented that the author “relies … on scholarly literature, oral tradition, and … reading between the lines” in his attempt to solve the mystery. The book received favorable reviews. Michelle Mittrach Garcia wrote in Library Journal that the author “vividly weaves his … narrative, imbued with a deep respect for the geography and cultural landscape.” A Kirkus Reviews contributor called House of Rain “an original, eloquent account of an intellectual and archaeological odyssey.”

The book covers Childs’ journeys in that part of the Southwest and his research with natives of several tribes as well as scholars in the field and others. Some of his questions concern where the “Anasazi” came from, why, what they did and how they lived as well as where they went. He investigates the settlements and dwellings of the groups and sits at night in places where the only tracks are those of animals. He explores the area from Colorado and Utah through Arizona and New Mexico to the northern areas of Mexico.

Yes – I was spellbound and in awe. I know I’ll be reading this again. This book is probably for intelligent people who are curious – not for scholars in the field. As Childs says somewhere the book is a mix of scholarly opinions and his own ideas and sensations.

The story is that of the Anasazi, who they were and where they went. It has some surprising conclusions – surprising to me anyway. I am so glad I read it.

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