Indian Country Noir

Indian Country Noir

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by Sarah Cortez

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Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. With Indian Country Noir, readers can enter into a welter of troubled history throughout the Americas where the heritage of violence meets the ferocity of intent.  See more details below


Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. With Indian Country Noir, readers can enter into a welter of troubled history throughout the Americas where the heritage of violence meets the ferocity of intent.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Written by both Native American and non-Native authors, the 14 stories in this worthy volume in Akashic’s noir series range geographically from northern Canada to Puerto Rico and from New York’s Adirondacks to Los Angeles. One of the more impressive entries is Melissa Yi’s moving “Indian Time,” about Mohawk Fred Redish’s painful attempts to visit his young sons under the care of his white mother-in-law. “,” David Cole’s story of a woman forced to forge a new identity for a drug lord or see her family slain, works perfectly. Leonard Schonberg’s “Lame Elk,” about an alcoholic’s last chance to reform, is a noir gem. Co-editor Martínez’s poignant “Prowling Wolves” recounts the sad fate of Iwo Jima flag-raiser Ira Hayes. Other contributors include Lawrence Block, Jean Rae Baxter, Reed Farrel Coleman, and Gerard Houarner. (June)

Product Details

Akashic Books
Publication date:
Akashic Noir Series
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Product dimensions:
8.34(w) x 5.32(h) x 0.76(d)

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Indian Country Noir

Akashic Books

Copyright © 2010 Akashic Books
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-936070-05-3


Spiritual Transgression

Welcome to Indian Country ... It lies within the physical and emotional antipodes of North-South-East-West, and encompasses territory both familiar and unknown. Many who inhabit Indian Country love it, and they often stay after their time on Earth is done. Others have died trying to claim it. They continue to wander there in the endless circle of time. This book has stories by both Native and non-Native authors reflecting them all.

The circle defined by the cardinal directions of the Medicine Wheel is your reminder that a harmonious relationship with nature and all living beings is how creation was ordained, with all of us equal and connected. Thus, all directions lead to each other, just as all these stories, in turn, point toward one another through a shared ethos.

As you step back into the troubled history of Joseph Bruchac's "Helper" and Liz Martínez's "Prowling Wolves," you will find yourself swept up by a fresh and powerful look into personal revisionist histories. It is, perhaps, not unpredicable that some of these tales show the narrator partaking in what appears to be an eminently satisfying dose of revenge: Jean Rae Baxter's "Osprey Lake," Mistina Bates's "Daddy's Girl," and David Cole's "" among them. And while eliminating the person perceived as evil may have its own brand of dark glee, Melissa Yi's "Indian Time" gives us a truly haunting tale of twisted intention and vengeance. Two of the stories are breathtakingly lyrical in their approach and articulation of the hard price paid by some Indians for spiritual homelessness and transgression: Kimberly Roppolo's "Quilt like a Night Sky" and A.A. HedgeCoke's "On Drowning Pond." Leonard Schonberg's "Lame Elk" takes us to the bitter cold of January in Montana for another tale of a crushed life.

For a glimpse at how a contemporary character with Indian blood functions in an urban environment, enjoy the fast-paced lives created by O'Neil De Noux in "The Raven and the Wolf" and R. Narvaez in "Juracán." Gerard Houarner keeps us in a contemporary setting in Manhattan's underground, yet masterfully weaves the mythological and historical through several different planes of reality. And speaking of myths, are there any stronger, especially in our media-driven society, than that of the "American Indian"? See how non-Native authors Lawrence Block in "Getting Lucky" and Reed Farrel Coleman in "Another Role" use the Hollywood-engendered mythos to bring us to yet other unexpected places.

Before you journey with these talented authors through the north, south, east, and west of Indian Country, you might wish to reflect upon the words of the famous Oglala Lakota teacher Black Elk: "Birds make their nests in circles; we dance in circles; the circle stands for the Sun and Moon and all round things in the natural world. The circle is an endless creation, with endless connections to the present, all that went before and all that will come in the future."

Sarah Cortez Houston, Texas March 2010


Excerpted from Indian Country Noir Copyright © 2010 by Akashic Books. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Sarah Cortez, a law-enforcement officer, is the author of the poetry collection How to Undress a Cop. Winner of the 1999 PEN Texas Literary award in poetry, she has edited or coedited Urban-Speak: Poetry of the City, Windows into My World: Latino Youth Write Their Lives, and Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery. Liz Martínez's stories have appeared in Manhattan Noir, Queens Noir, Cop Tales 2000, and other publications. She is the author of The Retail Manager's Guide to Crime and Loss Prevention; her articles about security and law enforcement have appeared in publications worldwide. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers.

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Indian Country Noir 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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