Ep 40 Vigilante justice with author David Heska Wanbli Weiden

‘People come to me all the time and tell me about the metaphors I built in, and I tell them, “Man, I just threw it in there.”‘

David Heska Wanbli Weiden is an enrolled citizen of the Sicangu Lakota nation and the author of Winter Counts. His debut novel, Winter Counts was the winner of the 2021 Thriller Award for Best First Novel, the Spur Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and Best First Novel, the Barry Award for Best First Novel, the Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel, and the Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing. He lives in Colorado.

Winter Counts is the story of Virgil Wounded Horse, a hired vigilante on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Through a compelling crime story, David reveals the profoundly broken criminal justice system on American reservations.

In episode 40 of James and Ashley Stay at Home, we ask David what it means to be a Super Indian (and discuss the term ‘Indian’ in the American context), his starting place for the novel’s narrative, Lakota and Indigenous cuisine and food culture, and the surprising and heartening reader responses to the book.

Plus, if you’re ever in Nebraska, David recommends checking out Carhenge, a replica of Stonehenge made of out actual cars. Seriously.

Books and authors discussed in this episode:
– Jim Thompson, US noir author
– Don Becker, Denver comedian
Razorblade Tears by SA Cosby
These Toxic Things by Rachel Howzell Hall
They Can’t Take Your Name by Robert Justice
The House of Ashes by Stuart Neville
– The Shadow House by Anna Downes (our guest from episode 5)
The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright
Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

Listen to episode 40 of James and Ashley Stay at Home here, or on Apple podcasts, SpotifyStitcher, or your favourite podcast app, and find out about past episodes here.

Big thanks to Craig Sisterton, author of Southern Cross Crime, for recommending Winter Counts.

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