Set in the Civil War era of the 1860s, this novel tells the story of an innocent young Virginian who comes West by railroad to escape his domineering preacher-father and find adventure and a new life. He is duped into accepting the feckless job of Indian Agent at Fort Sumner in the New Mexico desert. There the Navajo were being imprisoned in an “experiment in Indian management” known as the Bosque Redondo Reservation. But the young hero is hardly the pawn his commanders intended him to be after he finds himself captivated by a crossdressing Two-Spirit male shaman, highly respected as spiritual leader and healer among the Diné, as The People call themselves. Together the pair expose the real motives behind this “experiment” and help the Diné escape imprisonment and return to their sacred homelands in the mountains.
Anthropologist Walter L. Williams has teamed up with award-winning novelist and spiritual writer Toby Johnson to produce a work of historical fiction that presents the Native American philosophies, spiritualities, and gender wisdom which Williams documented in his groundbreaking The Spirit and The Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture. It was that book in 1986 that helped introduce the Two-Spirit tradition to modern readers. Williams’ and Johnson’s novel Two Spirits was winner of a prize for Historical Fiction from the Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation.
This is a story, based on the real history of the Bosque Redondo, of tragedy, oppression, and discrimination, but it is also an enlightening tale of love, personal discovery, and natural beauty. Full of suspense, plot twists, and endearing romance, Two Spirits will captivate readers with its positive approach to life and love and its wonderful happy and satisfying ending. The novel is, at once, educational, entertaining, sexy, romantic, mystical, enlightened.
Walter L Williams is author of the award-winning The Spirit and the Flesh and more than a dozen other books and novels. He has been professor of anthropology, history and gender studies at the University of Southern California, where he taught gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender studies, and also American Indian Studies. He is past president of ONE Institute International Gay and Lesbian Archives.
Toby Johnson is author of four non-fiction books that apply the wisdom of Joseph Campbell, his teacher and “wise old man,” to modern-day social and religious problems, three gay genre novels that dramatize spiritual issues at the heart of gay consciousness, and two books on gay men’s spiritualities, gay spirit, and the mystical experience of homosexuality.