Wordarrows: Native States of Literary Sovereignty

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Overview


With wry humor and imaginative acuity, noted writer Gerald Vizenor offers compelling glimpses of modern Native American life and the different ways that Native Americans and whites interact, fight, and resolve their conflicts. The elusive borderland between white and Native American cultures is further complicated by exchanges of money, services, language, and skills that make up what Vizenor calls the “new fur trade.” When Native Americans resist dominance, they fight back incisively and creatively with humor in the strategic word wars of survivance over victimry.
 
Vizenor illuminates the troubling encounters and distant reaches of this modernist fur trade through his creative narratives. Especially memorable is the reincarnation of General George Custer as the head of Native American programs and the mystifying play of words between charity agencies and Native Americans. Several of Vizenor’s stories focus on a so-called urban reservation, Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis. In the last section Vizenor recalls his experiences and observations while reporting on the murder trial of a young Native American student, Thomas White Hawk, in South Dakota.
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Editorial Reviews

Antioch Review

Wordarrows is a milestone in the campaign to make traditional native culture a relevant part of modern life. It represents one man’s attempt to be both meaningful and honest in using his tribal past.”—Antioch Review
Choice

“Penetrating and thoughtful, this book has value for the student of the psyche of the contemporary American Indian.”—Choice
Choice

“Penetrating and thoughtful, this book has value for the student of the psyche of the contemporary American Indian.”—Choice
Choice

“Penetrating and thoughtful, this book has value for the student of the psyche of the contemporary American Indian.”—Choice

Antioch Review

Wordarrows is a milestone in the campaign to make traditional native culture a relevant part of modern life. It represents one man’s attempt to be both meaningful and honest in using his tribal past.”—Antioch Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803296299
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 164
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Gerald Vizenor is a professor of American Studies and Native American literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of more than twenty books, including Fugitive Poses: Native American Indian Scenes of Absence and Presence and Manifest Manners: Narratives on Postindian Survivance, both published by the University of Nebraska Press.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Native States of Literary Sovereignty
Separatists and Urban Fur Traders
Separatists behind the Blinds 9
Rattling Hail Ceremonial 18
Factors in the Urban Fur Trade 25
Downtown on the Reservation
Roman Downwind 33
Marleen American Horse 38
Laurel Hole in The Day 47
Baptiste Saint Simon 54
Tribal Slipstreams and Centerfold Cultures
Custer on the Slipstream 65
Fruit Juice and Tribal Trickeries 75
Feeding the Reservation Mongrels 82
Mother Earth Man and Paradise Flies 89
The Edible Menu and Slow-Food Tricksters 104
Travels with Doctor Gerasimo 115
White Hawk and the Prairie Fun Dancers
No Rest for the Good Sheriff 125
Daisie and Beacher on the Prairie 134
Word War in the Partsroom 143
Prosecutors and Prairie Fun Dancers 149
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