Voices from Four Directions: Contemporary Translations of the Native Literatures of North Americaby Brian Swann (Editor)
Storytelling and singing continue to be a vital part of community life for Native peoples today. Voices from Four Directions gathers stories and songs from thirty-one Native groups in North America -- including the Inupiaqs in the frigid North, the Lushootseeds along the forested coastline of the far West, the Catawbas in the humid South, and the Maliseets of the rugged woods of the East. Vivid stories of cosmological origins and transformation, historical events remembered and retold, as well as legendary fables can be found in these pages. Well-known Trickster figures like Raven, Rabbit, and Coyote figure prominently in several tales as do heroes of local fame such as Tom Laporte of the Maliseets. The stories and songs entertain, instruct, and recall rich legacies as well as obligations. Many are retellings and reinventions of classic narratives, while others are more recent creations. Award-winning poet and critic Brian Swann has gathered some of the richest and most diverse literatures of Native North America and provides an introduction to the volume. In addition, each story is introduced and newly translated.
“This volume is a comprehensive collection that belongs in every tribal college library and would be an excellent text for Native Literature classes.”—Holly Ristau, Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education
“With Voices from Four Directions Swann has added a fine collection to his already impressive list of edited works. . . . . His editorial selections have created an interesting and thought-provoking text for both the scholar and the nonspecialist.”—Caskey Russell, Ethnohistory
Meet the Author
Brian Swann is on the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. His many works include Coming to Light: Contemporary Translations of the Native Literatures of North America.
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