Authentic Alaska: Voices of Its Native Writers

Authentic Alaska: Voices of Its Native Writers

by Susan B. Andrews, John Creed
     
 

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In this lively and sometimes poignant collection of essays and autobiographies, nearly fifty Alaska Native writers tell of their unique way of life and bear witness to the sweeping cultural changes occurring in their lifetimes.

They explore a range of experiences and issues, including skinning a polar bear; traditional domestic and subsistence practices; marriage

Overview

In this lively and sometimes poignant collection of essays and autobiographies, nearly fifty Alaska Native writers tell of their unique way of life and bear witness to the sweeping cultural changes occurring in their lifetimes.

They explore a range of experiences and issues, including skinning a polar bear; traditional domestic and subsistence practices; marriage customs; alcoholism; the challenges and opportunities of modern education; balancing traditional and contemporary demands; discrimination; adapting to urban life; the treatment of Native peoples in school textbooks; and the social realities of speaking standard and "village" English.

With its fresh perspectives and unfailingly authentic voices, this collection is essential for an understanding of Alaska Native peoples today.

Susan B. Andrews and John Creed are award-winning journalists and associate professors in the humanities at the Chukchi campus of the University of Alaska in Kotzebue.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
"Cutting a polar bear is very easy, just like saying the alphabet for counting ones, twos, threes, and so on," states Siberian Yup'ik Linda Akeya in her essay on skinning a polar bear. Akeya's native Alaskan voice is typical of the more than 50 found here. There is a refreshing directness to this collection of essays and stories edited byAndrews and Creed, journalists and associate professors at the Chukchi campus of the University of Alaska in Kotzebue. Most of the narratives were part of a student writing project initiated in 1987-88, with the students' efforts often published in the Anchorage Daily News. The slender anthology includes a brief overview of Alaska's history in relation to its native peoples followed by individual autobiographies, accounts of rural life, formal schooling experiences, and the effects of Western culture on native traditions. The text is enhanced by historic and contemporary photographs. This is a bittersweet book, for there is no denying the destruction of one society by another. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.Janet N. Ross, Washoe Cty. Lib. Sys., Sparks, Nev.
Robin Ridington
"These stories add a new dimension to the genre of Native American literature."—Robin Ridington, coauthor of Blessing for a Long Time: The Sacred Pole of the Omaha Tribe (Nebraska 1997)
Julie Cruikshank
"These are gritty, forthright narratives about late-twentieth-century life in remote Alaska. . . . A wonderful collection indeed!"—Julie Cruikshank, author of The Social Life of Stories: Narrative and Knowledge in the Yukon Territory (Nebraska 1998) and Life Lived Like a Story: Life Stories of Three Yukon Native Elders (Nebraska 1991)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803259331
Publisher:
University of Nebraska Press
Publication date:
01/01/1998
Series:
American Indian Lives Series
Pages:
212
Product dimensions:
0.45(w) x 9.00(h) x 6.00(d)

Meet the Author


Susan B. Andrews and John Creed are award-winning journalists and associate professors in the humanities at the Chukchi campus of the University of Alaska in Kotzebue.

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