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BHSU professor and author talks about book with Todd County high schoolers

 
 Kent Meyers, Black Hills State University associate professor of humanities, discusses his novel "The Work of Wolves" with Todd County high school students.
A group of Todd County high school seniors recently sat down with Kent Meyers, Black Hills State University associate professor of humanities, to discuss his novel “The Work of Wolves.”

The seniors just finished reading the book and spent the time talking with Meyers about his inspiration for the novel which has received numerous accolades including: the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Association Regional Book Award in Fiction Category, finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, and a Christian Science Monitor Noteworthy Book of the Year.

Set in rural South Dakota, Meyers’ book follows the lives of four men who are thrown together when a wealthy rancher retaliates against the main character, Carson Fielding, exacting revenge by abusing the horses Fielding has trained for him. The unlikely foursome try to save the horses and in doing so learn about each other’s character and about themselves.

The Todd County literature class is taught by BHSU graduate Leona White Hat who knew Meyers from her time as an undergraduate and graduate student. Five years ago, during an in-service training at Todd County, White Hat listened to a literary coach discuss Meyers’ book “The Work of Wolves.” She decided it would be a great novel to introduce to her students. That class, however, did not have the opportunity to sit down and talk with Meyers.

“I’m really happy we were able to (discuss the book with Meyers) this time,” she said.

The students were full of questions not only about Meyers’ book “The Work of Wolves” but also about how he finds his stories.

“A story is tension – youth against age, rich vs. poor, legality vs. morality, white vs. Indian,” Meyers said. “As I am writing, I’m always looking for stories that have this kind of tension.”

Meyers said he often incorporates stories he hears from his students or overhears at restaurants or other public places into his novels. “I listen to what is going on around me,” Meyers said. “There are powerful stories all around us.”

Shania Black Bear, senior at Todd County High School, said she enjoyed reading Meyers’ book and loved the opportunity to visit with him about the novel and the process he goes through in writing a book.

“I kind of liked learning how his mind works as he writes,” she said.

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