While the Locust Slept

While the Locust Slept

[a Memoir]

Book - 2001
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Blackwell North Amer
First-time author Peter Razor recalls his early years as a ward of the State of Minnesota. Deftly disclosing his story through flashbacks and relying on research from his own case files, Razor pieces together the shattered fragments of his boyhood into a memoir that reads as compellingly as a novel.
Abandoned as an infant in 1930 at the State Public School in Owatonna, Minnesota, Razor is raised by abusive workers who think of him as nothing more than "a dirty Injun" and endures years of beatings "with a broom or radiator brush - whatever was handy." One night, while he is asleep, one of the matrons attacks him with a hammer. In the wake of this savage beating, he finally receives a brief interlude of compassionate care in the hospital. As a teenager, he makes two failed attempts to run away from the orphanage.
He is labeled a troublemaker and indentured as a hired hand to a farm family. For a moment, it appears he may escape the grasp of abuse, but instead it is a deeper descent into darkness. The farmer beats him, clothes him in rags, and treats him like a slave, often working him to exhaustion without enough food. Remarkably, Razor struggles to attend high school and begins to dream of another life, but first he must endure the darkest and most vicious attack yet.

Publisher: St. Paul, Minn. : Minnesota Historical Society Press, c2001
ISBN: 9780873514019
Branch Call Number: 362.76 R219w
Characteristics: 200 p. : ill. ; 21 cm


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Dec 07, 2017

I found myself thinking about Peter, and the story whenever had to stop reading in order to go about my life. It's a story that will stay with me, not to be forgotten. Well written.


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