Green Grass, Running Water

Structure and narration

The structure of the novel is quite unique; the narrator of the story is identified as "I." This character is a companion of Coyote, and knows the four escaped Aboriginal men personally. The unknown narrator is told the plot of the novel by each of the four in turn. This means that the reader hears the story through the unknown narrator, who heard the story from all of the four escaped Aboriginal men, who separately tell the story to the denizens of Blossom. To further complicate the narrative structure, the unknown narrator is telling this story not directly to the reader, but primarily to Coyote.

Interspersed in the four sections of the novel are four different stories of the creation, as told by four timeless Aboriginal women/gods: First Woman, Changing Woman, Thought Woman, and Old Woman.[4] In each of these retellings, each woman meets both a figure from the Bible as well as a western literary figure, from whom she takes on a new name: Lone Ranger, Ishmael, Robinson Crusoe, and Hawkeye, respectively.[4] These timeless women become the four "Indian Men" who escape the asylum, thus echoing the Trickster's ability to change genders.

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