Shaman or Sherlock?: The Native American Detective

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Overview

Fictional depictions of Native American concepts of justice, crime, and the investigation of crime are explored in this original work. Shaman or Sherlock explores depictions created by Native American authors themselves, as well as those created by outsiders with mainstream agendas. The most successful of these writers fuse authentic Native American culture with standard genre conventions, thus providing an appealing, empathetic view of little-understood or underappreciated groups, as well as insight into issues of cross-cultural communication. Dealing with such significant concepts as acculturation, regional diversity, and assimilation, this unique study evaluates over 200 detective stories.

Though the crime novel began in Europe as a manifestation of Enlightenment rationality and scientific methodology, the Native American detective story moves into the realm of the spiritual and intuitive, often incorporating depictions of non-material phenomena. Shaman or Sherlock? explores how geographical and tribal differences, degrees of assimilation, and the evolution of age-old cultural patterns shape the Native American detective story.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

GINA MACDONALD is a professor of English at Nicholls State University. Her books include James Clavell: A Critical Companion (Greenwood, 1996), Robert Ludlum: A Critical Companion (Greenwood, 1997), and, with Andrew Macdonald, Shape-Shifting (Greenwood, 2000).

ANDREW MACDONALD is a professor of English at Loyola University who has published widely on popular culture issues. His books include Howard Fast: A Critical Companion (Greenwood, 1996) and, with Gina Macdonald, Shape-Shifting (Greenwood, 2000).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
2 Two Ways of Knowing: Mainstream and Native American 23
3 Native American Crime and Detection Novels: Earth and Spirit Power 49
4 The Southwestern Detective Story: A Reflection of the Land 77
5 The Southwestern Detective: Shaman or Sherlock? 105
6 Shamans and Sherlocks: Unravelling Crime in the Mountains and on the Plains 141
7 The Northwest: Shamanistic Horror amid Eerie Rain Forests 195
8 Alaska and the Canadian Northwest Territories: Wilderness Challenges and Human Limitations 211
9 The East Coast and Great Lakes Nations: Modern Reincarnations of Past Glory 241
10 Conclusion: The "Indian" in Detective Fiction - Present Realities and Future Directions 259
Bibliography 269
Index 281
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