A work of creative nonfiction inspired by the true story of two South Dakota teenagers, Mark St. Pierre's Of Uncommon Birthdraws upon extensive interviews and exhaustive research in military archives to present a harrowing story of two young men--one white, one Indian--caught in the vortex of the Vietnam War. Dale, a young middle-class white American from South Dakota, joins the army during the Vietnam War and dreams of serving his country. Frank, a young Lakota Indian, joins the army both in an effort to flee the seemingly inescapable circumstances of his life and to follow his people's warrior tradition. In Of Uncommon Birth, Mark St. Pierre intimately weaves together the lives of these two young men from very different worlds. Each in his own way struggles with issues of loyalty, responsibility, sacrifice, and personal identity through his experiences in Vietnam. Of Uncommon Birthpresents the ironic story of what it means for an American Indian soldier in Vietnam to let himself become stereotyped as the Native "good luck charm" for his unit as a way to find acceptance, approval, and identity within the majority culture, even if the Brave and Loyal Indian Scout stereotype carries with it the smell of death.
Collections Spotlight: Of Uncommon Birth: Dakota Sons in Vietnam
Of Uncommon Birth: Dakota Sons in Vietnam