Native Authenticity: Transnational Perspectives on Native American Literary Studies

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"A Kind of Intimacy is a sardonic look at self-help gone disastrously wrong. In Annie Fairhurst's world, the past can never loosen its grip on the present, and the persistent exhortation to better oneself and one's lot in life urges her, time and time again, to embark on thoroughly terrifying journeys." "Annie is obese, socially awkward. yet determined to escape a difficult past and to start over. She moves into a new neighborhood, bringing virtually nothing from her previous life with her." "Then again, there is very little left of her previous

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Overview

"A Kind of Intimacy is a sardonic look at self-help gone disastrously wrong. In Annie Fairhurst's world, the past can never loosen its grip on the present, and the persistent exhortation to better oneself and one's lot in life urges her, time and time again, to embark on thoroughly terrifying journeys." "Annie is obese, socially awkward. yet determined to escape a difficult past and to start over. She moves into a new neighborhood, bringing virtually nothing from her previous life with her." "Then again, there is very little left of her previous life to bring. She has literally wiped the slate clean, having disposed of both her husband and their daughter." "Neil, Annie's unsuspecting new neighbor, makes the mistake of being friendly---Which Annie immediately interprets as infatuation---setting in motion a chain of events that has Annie contemplating yet another murder. Despite her penchant for murder, Annie is convinced that she is the one to whom life has dealt a foul hand, that she is the real victim. As the persona she has so meticulously created begins to crumble a bloody and disastrous finale seems inevitable chosen by the UK's leading" "bookseller as one of twelve "New Voices" for 2009, studied English at Cambridge University and Creative Writing at Manchester. She works as the Head Librarian in a prison. In 2006, an extract from A Kind of Intimacy was shortlisted in a national competition entitled "The Enigma of Personality" "An indispensable resource for readers, students, and scholars of Native literatures in North America, Native Authenticity offers a clear, comprehensive, and systematic look at the diversity of critical approaches to the idea of "Indian-ness." Some of the fore-most transatlantic scholars of Native studies in North America and Europe share their insights on this highly charged aspect of the contemporary theoretical field of Native studies. The issue of "authenticity" of "Indian-ness" generates a controversial debate in studies of indigenous American literatures. The articulation of Native identity through the prism of Euro-American attempts to confine "Indian" groups to essentialized spaces is resisted by some Native writers, while others recognize a need for essentialist categories as a key strategy in the struggle for social justice and perpetually renewed sense of Native sovereignty. Pressure from neocolonial essentializing practices is in conflict with a politics of cultural sovereignty, which demands a notion of "Indian" essence or "authenticity" as a foundation for community values, heritage, and social justice." Contributors participate in a scholarly and pedagogical search for an intellectual paradigm for Native literary studies that is apart from, yet cognizant with, powerful colonial legacies. The complex politics of Polynesian authenticity versus Native indigeneity is engaged by Native Hawaiian writers as they negotiate conflicting demands upon personal and tribal identities. Related to this questioning is the authenticity debate in Canadian First Nation writing, where the claim to authenticity rests upon a claim to historical precedence, also related is the highly contentious claim by some Chicano/a writers to an indigenous heritage as a claim to authority and "American" authenticity. Essays in this volume are focused upon the diverse an sophisticated responses of Native writers and scholars, while offering comparative perspectives on Native Hawaiian, Chicano, and Canadian literatures.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781438431673
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Series: Native Traces
  • Pages: 205
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah L. Madsen is Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Her many books include Understanding Gerald Vizenor; American Exceptionalism; and Allegory in America.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction Contemporary Discourses on "Indianness" Deborah L. Madsen Madsen, Deborah L. 1

Chapter 1 Questions about the Question of "Authenticity": Notes on Moolelo Hawaii and the Struggle for Pono Paul Lyons Lyons, Paul 19

Chapter 2 Cycles of Selfhood, Cycles of Nationhood: Authenticity, Identity, Community, Sovereignty David L. Moore Moore, David L. 39

Chapter 3 "Back when I used to be Indian": Native American Authenticity and Postcolonial Discourse Lee Schweninger Schweninger, Lee 69

Chapter 4 The X-Blood Files: Whose Story? Whose Indian? Malea Powell Powell, Malea 87

Chapter 5 Modernism, Authenticity, and Indian Identity: Frank "Toronto" Prewett (1893-1962) Joy Porter Porter, Joy 103

Chapter 6 Transdifference in the Work of Gerald Vizenor Helmbrecht Breining Breining, Helmbrecht 123

Chapter 7 Traces of Others in Our Own Other: Monocultural Ideals, Multicultural Resistance Juan Bruce-Novoa Bruce-Novoa, Juan 133

Chapter 8 Sacred Community, Sacred Culture: Authenticity and Modernity in Contemporary Canadian Native Writings Richard J. Lane Lane, Richard J. 151

In Conversation Postindian Reflections: Chickens and Piranha, Casinos, and Sovereignty A. Robert Lee Lee, A. Robert 167

Contributors 183

Index 187

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