“Animals dream about the things they do in the day time just like people do. If you want sweet dreams, you’ve got to live a sweet life.” So says Loyd Peregrina, a handsome Apache trainman and latter-day philosopher. But when Codi Noline returns to her hometown, Loyd’s advice is painfully out of her reach. Dreamless and at the end of her rope, Codi comes back to Grace, Arizona, to confront her past and face her ailing, distant father. What she finds is a town threatened by a silent environmental catastrophe, some startling clues to her own identity, and a man whose view of the world could change the course of her life. Blending flashbacks, dreams, and Native American legends, Animal Dreams is a suspenseful love story and a moving exploration of life’s largest commitments.
“Animal Dreams was the first novel I wrote on purpose, so it's more calculated thematically than The Bean Trees. The question I began with was this: why do some people engage with the world and its problems, while others turn their backs on it? And why is it that these two sorts of people often occur even in the same family? I'm very curious about this because I'm a human rights activist myself. So I invented two sisters with apparently opposite personalities, and then I invested them with a family and began to work backwards to find the point in their shared history that would have pushed them into opposite directions.”
Animal Dreams was awarded the Pen/USA West Fiction Award and the Edward Abbey Award for Ecofiction, and it was named an American Library Association Notable Book, the Arizona Library Association Book of the Year, and a New York Times Notable Book.
- Antioch Review 48(4) Fall 1990:546.
- Arizona Daily Star 9 September 1990:10(E).
- Atlanta Constitution 21 September 1990: 1(C).
- Boston Sunday Herald 16 September 1990:43.
- Chicago Tribune 26 August 1990:1(14).
- Los Angeles Times Book Review 9 September 1990:1.
- Nation 251(18) 26 November 1990:653.
- New York Times Book Review 2 September 1990:1(2); 28 July 1991:28.
- San Francisco Chronicle 19 August 1990: 1(Review); 23 September 1990:3.
- Time 24 September 1990:87.
- Utne Reader March-April 1991:152.
- Washington Post Book World 2 September 1990:1.