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Awkward Teenagers, Spiritual Experiences, Cultural Connections, A UFO Sighting -- "Black Eagle Child: The Facepaint Narratives" Has It All

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

It’s a lyrical coming-of-age novel that centers on the life of Edgar Bearchild — who grew up on the Black Eagle Child Settlement in Central Iowa — and eventually finds his voice and purpose through poetry, the songs of his people and surviving the dangers of adolescence.

The Black Eagle Child Settlement is a thinly veiled version of the real-life Meskwaki Settlement near Tama, IA, and author Ray Young Bear shares a number of biographical details with his main character in the book.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks to Young Bear about his book. Later on, expert readers Jim O'Loughlin, Morgan Bear and Alaska Reid offer their perspectives on this novel.


  • Ray Young Bear, author of “Black Eagle Child: The Facepaint Narratives”
  • Jim O'Loughlin, professor and chair of the department of languages and literature, University of Northern Iowa
  • Morgan Bear, member of the Meskwaki Nation, academic advisor, Kirkwood College
  • Alaska Reid, singer, song writer, musician
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa