Certainly Edward S. Curtis, the Seattle-based photographer who devoted 30 years of his life to producing 20 volumes of photographic images and writings about North American Indians, must be credited with having earned one of those "firsts." And now Alan Cheuse, in "To Catch the Lightning" (Sourcebooks, 492 pages, $25.95), admirably sets out to establish Curtis' right to hero status.
"I only hope my novel," says Cheuse, a book reviewer and commentator on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," "will help people understand what went into the making of our country, just as Curtis himself tried to do."
But this minor flaw is more than compensated for by Cheuse's full-meal portrayal of Curtis' quest. Readers might well feel persuaded to agree with Curtis' son, Hal, who says to his father, "You are the best man I know."
Below: "A Walpi Man" by Edward Curtis...one model for my PEACE PARTY character Billy Honanie.