Flare for Reality & Humor + Indian Adoption Wrongs—3.23.19


Susan Devan Harness and Karen E. Bender

The affable, talented writer Karen E. Bender and Susan Devan Harness on effects of the devastating Indian Adoption Project.

Karen E. Bender is a Visiting Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. Her latest book of short stories “The New Order" has been long-listed for the “Story Prize.” Her short story collection, "Refund," was a 2015 National Book Award finalist and she's won two Pushcart Prizes. Her short fiction has appeared in many magazines including The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Story, The Yale Review, Narrative, The Harvard Review, Guernica.

"She’s always got an elbow in the reader’s side, nudging us to look closer at the world we live in and excels at sneaking in a joke when least expected." -Lily Meyer, Los Angeles Review of Books


Susan Devan Harness is a writer, speaker and oral historian and member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Her new book "Bitterroot: A Memoir of Transracial Adoption," is a sweeping examination of her life that explores the uneasy intersection of race, history, and the brutal government American Indian policies that affect the lives of her and her families.

Born in Montana to a family living on the Flathead Indian Reservation, she became a transracial adoptee at the age of two when she was removed from her home by a social worker because of supposed “neglect.”

Karen E. Bender
Susan Devan Harness

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