The Enumclaw Hometown Book Club will host Larry Colton, author of “Counting Coup: A True Story of Basketball and Honor on the Little Big Horn,” at 7 p.m. March 23, at the Enumclaw High School library.
This book tells of a girls’ high school basketball team in Montana whose team members are mostly of the Crow Indian tribe.
“There was a time when ‘counting coup’ meant literally touching one’s enemy in battle and living to talk about it,” notes the Barnes and Noble synopsis. “Still part of the Native American tradition, today the phrase means playing winning hoops and dominating one’s opponents. Capturing the divisive racism between whites and Native Americans and the hardscrabble existence of a small rural town, ‘Counting Coup’ tells the story of the girls’ varsity basketball team at Hardin High School in Crow, Mont. The team – comprised of both Crow Indian and white girls – is led by Sharon Laforge, a moody, undisciplined yet talented Native American girl who’s hoping to be the first female player from her high school to earn a basketball scholarship to college. While following Laforge and the Hardin High School girls’ basketball team for an entire season, Colton shows how the players deal with success, failure, friendship, rivalries and racism.”
The book can be purchased at MacRae’s Indian Book Store in Enumclaw.
“Counting Coup: A True Story of Basketball and Honor on the Little Big Horn,” won the Frankfurt eBook Award for best nonfiction book in 2000. It was also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Colton is known in the Portland, Ore., area as the creator of the annual Wordstock festival. He is also the organizer of the Community of Writers, a nonprofit organization that works to help school teachers and students learn and love to write. The aim is to increase writing achievement in grades kindergarten through 12 by improving the way teachers write and teach writing.
Colton’s background includes playing professional baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies. His major league debut was May 6, 1968, and he played one season. He then taught English and journalism in Portland public schools.
He worked as a corporate writer for Nike, then became a fulltime freelancer, and has written more than 250 feature stories for publications like Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, Ladies Home Journal and The New York Times Magazine.
He is the author of the book “Idol Time,” (1977) a profile of the Trail Blazers’ championship season and “Goat Brothers” (1993) which became a main selection of the Book of the Month Club and was optioned for a movie. The story chronicles the lives of Colton and four fraternity brothers from their days at the University of California at Berkeley in the 1960s to middle age.