The Voice of the Turtle: American Indian Literature, 1900-1970

The Voice of the Turtle: American Indian Literature, 1900-1970

by Paula Gunn Allen
     
 

"Paula Gunn Allen has been at the heart of a literary movement that has made Native American literature a part of the canon.... Voice of the Turtle is a collection of stories that will transform readers, offering an opportunity to understand the diverse literary traditions of American native peoples."
—Clifford Trafzer
Editor of Earth Song, Sky… See more details below

Overview

"Paula Gunn Allen has been at the heart of a literary movement that has made Native American literature a part of the canon.... Voice of the Turtle is a collection of stories that will transform readers, offering an opportunity to understand the diverse literary traditions of American native peoples."
—Clifford Trafzer
Editor of Earth Song, Sky Spirit
Meticulously edited by Paula Gunn Allen, Voice of the Turtle presents an unprecedented, comprehensive collection of Native American narrative literature from its first publication in 1900 through 1970. In forms as varied as oral recitation, autobiography, and fiction, this anthology gives readers a profound sense of the multiplicity of Native traditions and their ritual-centered worldview. Inside you'll discover:
A Red Girl's Reasoning by E. Pauline Johnson
Coyote Juggles His Eyes by Mourning Dove
Train Time by D'Arcy McNickle
"First Days at Carlisle" from My People, the Sioux by Luther Standing Bear
The Widespread Enigma Concerning Blue-Star Woman by Zitkala-Sa
"The Longhair" from House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
With passionate eloquence and fiery boldness, Voice of the Turtle displays the richness, depth, and range of Native American literature during a century when Native culture was fighting—triumphantly, in the long run—for breath and life.
"Voice of the Turtle alchemizes the spirit of spoken words into magical icons of printed literature."
—Kenneth Lincoln
American Indian Studies, UCLA
"An invaluable gap-filler in the canon of American literature."
—Booklist
"Provocative...Comprehensive...An accessible, varied collection."
—BostonSunday Herald

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Allen ( The Sacred Hoop) , a leading figure in Native studies and herself a Laguna Pueblo/Sioux, offers a useful and interesting, if flawed, anthology of American Indian literature of the first seven decades of the 20th century. She also provides a solid introduction, which puts the collected pieces in historical context, and she ushers in each selection with a brief explanatory note. Allen intends this work, as well as its projected sequel, to serve as a kind of map through Native writing for non-Native readers. Major figures in Native letters are represented. A well-chosen selection from N. Scott Momaday's Pulitzer-winning House Made of Dawn , for instance, presents the country's perhaps best-known Native writer in the novel that opened the publishing door for many current Indian authors. Also represented are pivotal writers such as D'Arcy McNickle (though not from his seminal work, The Surrounded ) and John Joseph Mathews (from Sundown , his novel of Osage life in the early part of the century). Nonfiction is also included, and no doubt the collection will be helpful to readers unfamiliar with the rich diversity of Native intellectual history. Yet odd critical judgments mar the volume. One wonders why Allen included multiple pieces by some authors (Charles A. Eastman and John M. Oskison, for example) while excluding the work of other, equally important writers (such as Alexander Posey and Ella Cara Deloria). And such relatively minor figures as Arthur Parker and Estelle Armstrong are represented, as well as works that were coauthored by whites and whose authorial voice and authenticity are difficult to apprehend. Author tour. (July)
Library Journal
Native American scholar Allen has brought together an excellent, educational selection of Native personal narratives-including those by E. Pauline Johnson (1906), Black Elk (1932), and N. Scott Momaday (1968)-as they have evolved against the cataclysmic events of the 20th century.
School Library Journal
YA-In her introduction, Allen clearly expresses her intention: to give non-Native readers the opportunity to experience something of the wholeness of Native thought. And this is exactly what she accomplishes with this masterful collection of stories. Readers are introduced to a representative sampling of 18 different Native American authors who convey stories from their divergent traditions in a variety of forms. After reading such fine selections as Black Elk's ``Great Vision,'' Luther Standing Bear's ``First Day at Carlisle,'' or D'Arcy McNickle's ``Train Time,'' readers will gain a better understanding of various Native peoples. A biographical sketch on each author is included.-Beth Gourley, Handley Regional Library, Winchester, VA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345395054
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/11/1995
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.47(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.77(d)

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