• The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo

  • A Child, an Elder, and the Light from an Ancient Sky
  • By: Kent Nerburn
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 12 hrs and 55 mins
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (124 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

A haunting dream that will not relent pulls author Kent Nerburn back into the hidden world of Native America, where dreams have meaning, animals are teachers, and the "old ones" still have powers beyond our understanding.

In this moving narrative, we travel through the lands of the Lakota and the Ojibwe, where we encounter a strange little girl with an unnerving connection to the past, a forgotten asylum that history has tried to hide, and the complex, unforgettable characters we have come to know from Neither Wolf nor Dog and The Wolf at Twilight.

Part history, part mystery, part spiritual journey and teaching story, The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo is filled with the profound insight into humanity and Native American culture we have come to expect from Nerburn's journeys. As the American Indian College Fund has stated, once you have encountered Nerburn's stirring evocations of America's high plains and incisive insights into the human heart, "you can never look at the world, or at people, the same way again."

©2013 Kent Nerburn (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent.

I've been walking the Red Road since I got sober. Newburn presents a nice point of view. The story was one of the best I've read. Wopila Newburn!

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Thought-provoking, though flawed

I'm a bit conflicted about this audiobook. Ultimately, I feel like it was a positive experience. I enjoyed the parts of the book very much, particularly the interactions with the various native characters and having their thoughts, fears and angers portrayed. Unfortunately, those are few and far between. The title character is really little more than a literary device that leads to the finale. But, I enjoyed moments of the journey. I kept hoping there would be a theme to give the book some grounding. But it is neither committed enough to a "magic realism", for example, on one hand, or deeply allegorical insight into spirituality on the other. Native spirituality is treated with a fawning reverence, but yet uncomfortably, as yet another example of native wisdom through white men's eyes.

If this book were written by a native person, it may have had more resonance. It may still have been a bit sentimental and overwrought. But this book adds a level of righteous indignation that can only be achieved by a well-meaning outsider. The author is quite defensive in the foreword of the book, detailing what is and isn't accessible to outsiders, but I feel that he misses the irony of self-servingly painting himself as "one of the good ones".

I am very sympathetic to native stories and history of injustices toward native peoples, so that's why this book interested me. I think I need more access to the author, perhaps to learn more about his experiences and conflicts (it seems clear that he has received blowback in the past, judging by his defensiveness). The book made me think more, so ultimately, I'd call it a success, even with its flaws. I'm giving 4 stars, not because it's great, as the guide indicates (I'm more inclined to say it's "pretty good", which is 3), but I feel the intention of the book was honest, if not fully realized.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

good story.

looking forward to listening to other books in this series. enjoyed it very very much

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Emotional, upsetting, yet hopeful. Makes me dream.

Knowing this terrible history filled me with tears of rage, I felt so hopeless, unable to erase them from time, but seeing little Z carrying the old ways gave me hope for a brighter future, one where we can all live in harmony, and accept nature as our teacher and barer of the creators truth. Though them, maybe we can all be closer to him, and a find a better way to live which let's more happiness into our hearts, spirits, and the outside world.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

WOW! great appreciation for allowing me in!

Very powerful and very authentic book by a great story teller. Not sure I've experienced that many different emotions all from one book. Anger, rage, out loud laughter, tears (lots of tears), gratitude, appreciation, respect, joy, humility, shame, fear, pride, connection, dropping to my knees.

If you've ever spent time on a reservation and count your native friends as blessings, you'll immediately connect with Grover, Dan and Jumbo's humor. If you've ever felt Creators presence in the wild or connection with animal teachers, then you'll immediately connect with Nerburns experiences with Festus and the Buffalo. If you have kids, you'll connect with Zi and Ramona, and if you've ever spoken with a true Elder, you'll love Dan!

Criticism (but not really) why would Nerburn doubt ANYTHING he saw, heard or experienced? He's spent way too much time in "Indian Country" to doubt ANYHTING!!!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

WOW!

I believe every word.
I’m going to rest, think and pray outside for a little while now.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I always love when the author narrates

I learned a lot from this book, and so many things in my own life began to make sense. I'm grateful to Mr. Nerburn for his work, and more grateful to the Native Americans who allow him in to share their stories. There's so much we don't know about the treatment of these people when the whites were clamoring to take over this country... and so much history and heritage being lost.

Hearing the author narrate his own work gives us a greater insight to his own connection to the work and the people.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well done

Great performance. Really loved this story. Excellent character development. I wanted to meet everyone in the book

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    5 out of 5 stars

loved it read it

get your hands on this for sure if you think you know a little about our history.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Did not hold my attention.

The narration is a bit slow and dreary. I wanted a teaching story in the Native American tradition, but what I got was a lecture. This is a tell not show style of book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Marilyn
  • 03-11-20

Good

The last chapter was rather confusing and heavy with detail.
It’s rather surprising that the author uses the archaic and offensive word “Indian “ to describe the First Nation people. Also he is not quick to learn , making the same mistakes more than once

There is plenty of wisdom within this book and plenty to learn and be inspired by. It’s a rolling and meditative flow kinda book, that’s easy to listen to and to enjoy

1 person found this helpful