Review by Booklist Review
This provocative collection of essays follows Genocide of the Mind (2003), which focused on attempts at assimilating indigenous peoples into American culture. Here writers focus on how those indigenous groups maintain their individual identities and on the key role writers and visual artists play in that effort. MariJo Moore writes, It is imperative that American Indians write their own literature so their grandchildren will know the truth. The significance of language in perpetuating tribal identity is addressed by several authors, including Louise Erdrich, who learns a little Ojibwa each day, knowing there are almost no fluent Ojibwa speakers left, and an Oneida lawyer who has been meeting an elder for lunch every day for 10 years to learn the Oneida language. Sherman Alexie, in his typically honest, bare-bones style, shares his thought-provoking take on what it means to be an Indian writer. And a native filmmaker faces incredulity when she attempts to film a documentary about the influence of the Iroquois Confederacy on the U.S. Constitution. A valuable look at the contributions of native artists to native cultural survival.--Donovan, Deborah Copyright 2007 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Emphasizing strategies for maintaining an indigenous cultural identity within the dominant society's constant assault on tradition and memory, this anthology of contemporary Native American writing is a sequel to 2003's Genocide of the Mind, which emphasized the assimilation of indigenous peoples. In more than 30 autobiographical essays and personal reflections, writers, educators and artists representing a wide variety of tribal affiliations address such battlegrounds as history, poverty, language and image-making in contemporary struggles for indigenous identity and self-representation. The volume also includes a selection of artwork that echoes the ideas advanced by these writers. In a spirit of resolve that Simon J. Ortiz describes as "resistance against disappearance," the pieces invariably emphasize intergenerational dependence, as in Scott Richard Lyons's charming firsthand appreciation of the life and career of the late Vine Deloria. Also shown is the individual's need to reconfigure tradition within the present, as in Annabel Wong's reflections on photography and self-portraiture or Sherman Alexie's episodic "unauthorized autobiography." As Alexie notes, "So much has been taken from us that we hold onto the smallest things left with all the strength we have." And yet, as this illuminating volume amply demonstrates, there remain sovereign worlds to discover, reconfigure and repossess. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved