(BEGIN THIS DESCRIPTION WITH THE 'SHORT DESCRIPTION' PROVIDED ABOVE, USING 1483 CHARACTERS)
Although this novel tells the story of one contemporary Native American man, it follows the classical tradition of novels portraying the struggle to overcome adversity, exposing human frailty and human virtue, and in that sense it transcends the limits of race, gender, place and time.
Sex, violence and addiction are inescapable elements of human life, not excluded from Coyote's story.
The protagonist is an American Indian/Native American by both birth and death, but he grows up in an environment surrounded by people of every racial and ethnic variety in America, so this is a story about one individual American, not a story about Native Americans more broadly.
As a boy and young man Kit Coyote is deeply committed to the sports of wrestling and cross country running, where his talents and opportunities lie, with consequences that liberate and elevate his adult life. These experiences are important elements of Coyote's story, described here in some depth, but the message goes beyond this one young man and his particular choice of sports. Many young men and women in America have found athletic competition to be their channel of escape from poverty and family adversities, and this is their story too.
Every novel can be read at two levels, and so it is for COYOTE SPEAKS: Cross Country Run.