Features brand-new stories by: Mistina Bates, Jean Rae Baxter, Lawrence Block, Joseph Bruchac, David Cole, Reed Farrel Coleman, O'Neil De Noux, A.A. Hedge Coke, Gerard Houarner, Liz Martínez, R. Narvaez, Kimberly Roppolo, Leonard Schonberg, and Melissa Yi.
Sarah Cortez, a law enforcement officer, is the award-winning author of the poetry collection How to Undress a Cop. She brings her heritage as a Tejana with Mexican, French, Comanche, and Spanish blood to the written page.
Liz Martínez’s stories have appeared in Manhattan Noir, Queens Noir, and Cop Tales 2000. She is a member of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, and she lives in New York.
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Indian Country Noir
Akashic BooksCopyright © 2010 Akashic Books
All right reserved.
Welcome to Indian Country ... It lies within the physical and emotional antipodes of North-South-East-West, and encompasses territory both familiar and unknown. Many who inhabit Indian Country love it, and they often stay after their time on Earth is done. Others have died trying to claim it. They continue to wander there in the endless circle of time. This book has stories by both Native and non-Native authors reflecting them all.
The circle defined by the cardinal directions of the Medicine Wheel is your reminder that a harmonious relationship with nature and all living beings is how creation was ordained, with all of us equal and connected. Thus, all directions lead to each other, just as all these stories, in turn, point toward one another through a shared ethos.
As you step back into the troubled history of Joseph Bruchac's "Helper" and Liz Martínez's "Prowling Wolves," you will find yourself swept up by a fresh and powerful look into personal revisionist histories. It is, perhaps, not unpredicable that some of these tales show the narrator partaking in what appears to be an eminently satisfying dose of revenge: Jean Rae Baxter's "Osprey Lake," Mistina Bates's "Daddy's Girl," and David Cole's "JaneJohnDoe.com" among them. And while eliminating the person perceived as evil may have its own brand of dark glee, Melissa Yi's "Indian Time" gives us a truly haunting tale of twisted intention and vengeance. Two of the stories are breathtakingly lyrical in their approach and articulation of the hard price paid by some Indians for spiritual homelessness and transgression: Kimberly Roppolo's "Quilt like a Night Sky" and A.A. HedgeCoke's "On Drowning Pond." Leonard Schonberg's "Lame Elk" takes us to the bitter cold of January in Montana for another tale of a crushed life.
For a glimpse at how a contemporary character with Indian blood functions in an urban environment, enjoy the fast-paced lives created by O'Neil De Noux in "The Raven and the Wolf" and R. Narvaez in "Juracán." Gerard Houarner keeps us in a contemporary setting in Manhattan's underground, yet masterfully weaves the mythological and historical through several different planes of reality. And speaking of myths, are there any stronger, especially in our media-driven society, than that of the "American Indian"? See how non-Native authors Lawrence Block in "Getting Lucky" and Reed Farrel Coleman in "Another Role" use the Hollywood-engendered mythos to bring us to yet other unexpected places.
Before you journey with these talented authors through the north, south, east, and west of Indian Country, you might wish to reflect upon the words of the famous Oglala Lakota teacher Black Elk: "Birds make their nests in circles; we dance in circles; the circle stands for the Sun and Moon and all round things in the natural world. The circle is an endless creation, with endless connections to the present, all that went before and all that will come in the future."
Sarah Cortez Houston, Texas March 2010
Excerpted from Indian Country Noir Copyright © 2010 by Akashic Books. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Foreword Richard B. Williams 13
Part I East
Helper Joseph Bruchac 17
Osprey Lake Jean Rae Baxter 37
Dead Medicine Snake Woman Gerard Houarner 59
Indian Time Melissa Yi 85
Part II South
On Drowning Pond A.A. HedgeCoke 103
Daddy's Girl Mistina Bates 109
The Raven and the Wolf O'Neil De Noux 129
Juracán R. Narvaez 150
Part III West
JaneJohnDoe.com David Cole 177
Lame Elk Leonard Schonberg 201
Another Role Reed Farrel Coleman 214
Part IV North
Getting Lucky Lawrence Block 241
Prowling Wolves Liz Martínez 252
Quilt like a Night Sky Klmberly Roppolo 273
About the Contributors 280