Only Approved Indians

Overview

In these short stories, Jack D. Forbes captures the remarkable breadth and variety of American Indian life. Drawing on his skills as scholar and native activist, and, above all, as artist, Forbes enlarges our sense of how American Indians experience themselves and the world around them.

Though all the main characters are of Indian descent, each is a unique combination of tribal origin, social status, age, and life-style-from native elder and college professor to lesbian barmaid ...

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Overview

In these short stories, Jack D. Forbes captures the remarkable breadth and variety of American Indian life. Drawing on his skills as scholar and native activist, and, above all, as artist, Forbes enlarges our sense of how American Indians experience themselves and the world around them.

Though all the main characters are of Indian descent, each is a unique combination of tribal origin, social status, age, and life-style-from native elder and college professor to lesbian barmaid and Chicano adolescent. Nevertheless the U.S. government (and perhaps white society as a whole) narrows the definition of "Indian".

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
In this 12th volume of the publisher's American Indian Literature and Critical Studies series, Native American scholar Forbes turns from anthropology to anthology with 17 short stories about the vicissitudes of life for modern-day Indians. Many of the selections display a strong sense of irony and humor: in the title piece, for example, an Indian basketball team makes it to a championship only to be disqualified because their members aren't recognized as natives by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In "An Incident in a Tour Among the Natives," a Native author receives romantic advances from a woman eager to be ravished by a red savage. Fantasy, too, plays a part in these lives, as in the particularly intriguing "The Cage," in which the last full-blooded male Indian is put in a zoo. The tales portray pain like that of the boy who, losing himself to drink, dreams only of "Someone to Love"; and they portray triumph, as in "A City Indian Goes to School," in which a troubled teen turns his back on alcoholism and delinquency when he recovers his racial identity. Though occasionally heavy-handed, these diverse stories nonetheless reflect a unique style and a thoughtful perspective on a struggling nation. FYI: Forbes, himself a Native American, is professor of anthropology and chair of Native American studies at the Univ. of California at Davis. Among his many nonfiction books on American Indians is Apache, Navajo, and Spaniard.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this 12th volume of the publisher's American Indian Literature and Critical Studies series, Native American scholar Forbes turns from anthropology to anthology with 17 short stories about the vicissitudes of life for modern-day Indians. Many of the selections display a strong sense of irony and humor: in the title piece, for example, an Indian basketball team makes it to a championship only to be disqualified because their members aren't recognized as natives by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. In ``An Incident in a Tour Among the Natives,'' a Native author receives romantic advances from a woman eager to be ravished by a red savage. Fantasy, too, plays a part in these lives, as in the particularly intriguing ``The Cage,'' in which the last full-blooded male Indian is put in a zoo. The tales portray pain like that of the boy who, losing himself to drink, dreams only of ``Someone to Love''; and they portray triumph, as in ``A City Indian Goes to School,'' in which a troubled teen turns his back on alcoholism and delinquency when he recovers his racial identity. Though occasionally heavy-handed, these diverse stories nonetheless reflect a unique style and a thoughtful perspective on a struggling nation. (Mar.)
Library Journal
A righteous, articulate rage fuels these plain stories of peoples harmed by the powerful and fantasies of apocalypse. Native American scholar and activist Forbes, the author of several books of social criticism and history, collects his short fiction written since 1979 in this debut. Although the passion and thought run deep, the stories do not satisfy. Themes of intellectually abused-and disabused-young adults of color, and of outright war between the white powerful and the colored oppressed, recur without much variation in story after story. Contexts and complications are often awkwardly introduced, through stilted dialog or the recorded thoughts of a protagonist. Polemical and searing, these stories are best read individually. Some, like the very brief title story, stun and impress with their pointed wryness. Primarily for academic collections.-Janet Ingraham, Worthington P.L., Ohio
Booknews
Seventeen short stories, written by a Native anthropologist, that draw from the breadth of American Indian life. All the main characters are of Indian descent; each is a unique combination of tribal origin, social status, age, and lifestyle, from Native elder to Chicano adolescent. The tales show how those who search for individual identity must also reckon with the identity of their group. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806126999
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 3/15/1995
  • Series: American Indian Literature Series , #12
  • Pages: 175
  • Sales rank: 785,412
  • Product dimensions: 5.93 (w) x 8.86 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack D. Forbes was a Professor in the Department of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis. He authored Native Americans of California and Nevada, Warriors of the Colorado: The Yumas of the Quechan Nation and Their Neighbors, and Africans and Native American. He was of Powhatan and Delaware descent.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Only Approved Indians Can Play Made in USA 3
The Caged 6
An Incident in a Tour Among the Natives 18
Shaw 25
Someone to Love 44
A City Indian Goes to School 47
My Father's Visit 60
The Professor 62
Southside 63
When Professors Die 68
The Dream of Injun Joe: A Page from the Alcatraz Seminars 74
South of Hope 86
The Sacrifice 92
The Laying On of the Hands 112
Lendra 128
The Edge of Things 145
The Cave 161
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