In the People of the Whale a Native American leaves his Pacific Northwest reservation and his pregnant wife to fight in the Vietnam war. He is reported to be dead, but he has actually started a new life in a Vietnamese village. After ten years he returns to find his former wife in fierce opposition to the men of their tribe who want to hunt a whale for profit. The clash of tribal values and modern ways parallels the internal struggle of the soldier whose heart belongs on both sides of the world at once. Hogan deftly layers the symbolism of the ocean, the subconscious, the whale, war and many other universal issues. The people of the Whale carries a pervasive and powerful aching, indicative of the Native American experience. It's a story of pride and honor and of continuing life's journey in spite of losing everything one values.