×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Stone Heart: A Novel of Sacajawea
     

Stone Heart: A Novel of Sacajawea

by Diane Glancy
 

See All Formats & Editions

Stone Heart is a gripping retelling of the story of American legend Sacajawea, the young Shoshoni woman who traveled with Lewis and Clark on their expedition to the West. Presented in Sacajawea's own voice juxtaposed with excerpts from Lewis and Clark's diaries, it is a work of moving and illuminating fiction cast from a famed piece of history that has long

Overview

Stone Heart is a gripping retelling of the story of American legend Sacajawea, the young Shoshoni woman who traveled with Lewis and Clark on their expedition to the West. Presented in Sacajawea's own voice juxtaposed with excerpts from Lewis and Clark's diaries, it is a work of moving and illuminating fiction cast from a famed piece of history that has long been masked by myth.

Lewis and Clark recorded the external journey, its physical challenges and wonders. Diane Glancy's Sacajawea experiences the expedition on a different plane, one that lies between the terrestrial and the magical, where clouds speak and ghost horses roam the plains. Both stunningly imagined and meticulously faithful to history, Stone Heart draws a lingering portrait of a woman of resilience and courage.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Glancy (Pushing the Bear) has fashioned an imaginative, second-person "diary" by the legendary Shoshone guide who aided Lewis and Clark on their expedition from Missouri to California. Sacajawea is a pregnant teenager in the late fall of 1804, having been abducted from her Shoshone tribe by the rival Hidatsas and then bought by Frenchman Toussaint Charbonneau. Charbonneau, characterized here as a brutish opportunist, serves as Lewis and Clark's interpreter, and from among his many wives he chooses Sacajawea to accompany them because she can help the explorers barter for horses from the Shoshone. In short paragraphs of staccato prose-poetry, Sacajawea offers her perspective on the arduous government-sponsored journey by foot, horseback and canoe in search of a water route to the Pacific. Her account is filled with her wide-eyed wonder at the strange ways of the white man-a party of 30 dragging their extravagant luggage over the mountains, writhing to the exotic tune of a fiddle and endlessly writing in diaries ("You watch the men write in their journals. What do they say with the gnarl of their letters? How can they say what the land is like with their marks?"). Throughout the book, excerpts from the actual diaries of Lewis and Clark serve as a counterpoint to Sacajawea's more intimate observations and mystical interpretations of their adventures. Though Glancy writes gracefully, Sacajawea's responses to the white men are predictable, and she never quite becomes a memorable character. Still, Glancy's sharply observed details and lyrical stylings make for a lively, thought-provoking read. Agent, Cynthia Cannell. (Mar.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Readers rarely encounter the second person in fiction, but it is Glancy's choice for the reminiscences of Sacajawea, the Shoshone woman who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their westward expedition. Her imagined words are juxtaposed against the actual words from the explorers' journals. Award winner Glancy (The Mask Maker) wishes to debunk the myth that her subject was a guide for Lewis and Clark; in her version of history, Sacajawea's role was to translate an exchange for horses at a critical point of the journey. But this makes Sacajawea no less heroic: shortly before the trip, she gave birth after a difficult labor and carried her son on her back throughout the arduous adventure. The interest in this retelling lies in the contrast between the two parties' journals: for instance, while Lewis and Clark present accounts of bringing white man's medicine to the natives, Sacajawea adds her thoughts on their constant use of bloodletting when a traditional herb could have been used. This intriguing retelling is recommended for historical fiction collections.-Debbie Bogenschutz, Cincinnati State Technical & Community Coll., OH Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A brilliant, artistically ambitious retelling of the familiar tale of the Shoshoni tribeswoman who accompanied Lewis and Clark.

Sacajawea's story has been retold many times, notably in Anna Lee Waldo's massive (over 1,400 pages) 1979 paperback, Sacajawea (a historical with a romantic subplot), and, more recently, in Brian Hall's superb I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company (p. 1494). Now, prizewinning poet and novelist Glancy, of Cherokee and German-English descent, offers us instead a kind of spiritual take, grindingly gritty yet webbed with supernatural ghostbreath. We all know that Native Americans can scan and hear news from the Otherworld as easily as New Yorkers read the Times. Still, some may at first resist Glancy's strategies, since she has once again, as in The Mask Maker (2002), adopted a distracting layout that has Sacajawea's present-tense voice broken constantly by framed inserts from Lewis and Clark's diaries, which bear upon the moment. Sacajawea herself, according to the grandmother who dreamed of finding a white stone shaped like a beaver, bears this white stone heart in her spirit-and she needs a rocklike heart to rise above the endless privations of the expedition, as when cottonwood trees grow so cold that water within makes them explode like cannonfire (a temperature of 45 below zero, Clark notes). Sacajawea, kidnapped by the Hidatasa tribe, was later sold and married to Canadian trapper Toussaint Charbonneau, who already had Otter Woman as a mate. Pregnant, Sacajawea feared she'd be left behind. Instead, she carried her son on her back through terrifying illnesses and dangers, her soothing songs to him getting her named Bird Woman. She is torn, wants tostay in her starving Shoshoni village when the explorers pass through it, but goes on to Oregon and the Pacific.

A short, masterful work about creative consciousness in the land.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585675142
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
03/30/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
156
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.45(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Diane Glancy has received numerous awards for her writing, including the American Book Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Capricorn Prize for Poetry, the Five Civilized Tribes Playwriting Prize, the North American Indian Prose Award, and a fellowship in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews