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Shell Shaker
     

Shell Shaker

4.7 4
by LeAnne Howe
 

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Why was Red Shoes, the most formidable Choctaw warrior of the 18th century, assassinated by his own people? Why does his death haunt Auda Billy, an Oklahoma Choctaw woman, accused in 1991 of murdering Choctaw Chief Redford McAlester? Moving between the known details of Red Shoes' life and the riddle of McAlester's death, this novel traces the history of the Billy

Overview

Why was Red Shoes, the most formidable Choctaw warrior of the 18th century, assassinated by his own people? Why does his death haunt Auda Billy, an Oklahoma Choctaw woman, accused in 1991 of murdering Choctaw Chief Redford McAlester? Moving between the known details of Red Shoes' life and the riddle of McAlester's death, this novel traces the history of the Billy women whose destiny it is to solve both murders—with the help of a powerful spirit known as the Shell Shaker.
Very few writers can shift a narrative skillfully between centuries and negotiate an enemy language, tribal governments and a slew of spirits while doing so. Very few can translate the soul of such a legacy into words, and allow the shape of such a story to weave itself, like stomp dancers around the fire, naturally. LeAnne Howe has done it. Shell Shaker is an elegant, powerful and knock-out story. I’m blown away. —Joy Harjo, Mvskoke poet and musician

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781939904010
Publisher:
Aunt Lute Books
Publication date:
04/01/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
249
Sales rank:
647,013
File size:
726 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


LeAnne Howe is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation and a Professor of American Indian Studies and English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She writes fiction, poetry, screenplays, creative non-fiction, plays, and scholarship that primarily deal with American Indian experiences. Her short fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Fiction International, and Story among other journals and has been translated into French, Italian, German, Dutch, and Danish. Her novel, Shell Shaker (Aunt Lute Books, 2001), received an American Book Award in 2002. Equinoxes Rouge, the French translation, was the 2004 finalist for Prix Medici Estranger. She is the author of two additional titles from Aunt Lute, MIKO KINGS: AN INDIAN BASEBALL STORY (2007) and, most recently, CHOCTALKING ON OTHER REALITIES (2013). As a 2010 -2011 William J. Fulbright Scholar, Howe lived in Amman, Jordan to research her forthcoming novel. In 2012, she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas, and in December 2012, Howe received a USA Ford Fellowship to continue her research.

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Shell Shaker 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading LeAnne Howe's novel, Shell Shaker, and was pleased to learn that it has won an American Book Award for 2002. The book concerns Choctaw society and takes place over three centuries. Howe does an excellent job of melding it all together, producing a story that holds your interest, and grips your imagination. The bridge between ancient Choctaw history, and today's Choctaw culture is flawless. Shakbatina, Anoleta, Divine Sarah, Auda Billy and her family; all the strong, proud, funny, and scary women of this book teach us to endure and laugh at that endurance, knowing that, in the end everything really IS everything. The men are equally as interesting, flawed or heroic, this is definitely not a 'girly' book. This book is a combination of mysticism, and mystery, humor and tragedy, and keeps you guessing as to the outcome. The research behind the novel is painstaking, and brings a realism that makes you care about the characters, even the bad guys. Redford McAlester didn't start out bad, nor did Red Shoes, but greed and power can turn souls. Hope to see more of Ms. Howe's work in the future!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Choctaw supernatural odyssey is the first novel by author and playwright LeAnne Howe, who has been published in anthologies such as Spiderwoman's Granddaughters, Earth Song, Sky Spirit, Returning the Gift, and Through the Eye of the Deer. Red Shoes, a Choctaw warrior in the 1700s, was assasinated by his own people for acts against the Choctaw nation. Red McAlester, a Choctaw tribal chieftan in the 1990s, is murdered for acts against the Choctaw nation. What these two men have in common, and the impact they have on the women in their lives, forms the basis for a fascinating read about Choctaw society then and now and the very important place family holds in Choctaw society. I have been following LeAnne Howe's writing since I saw her play Indian Radio Days in 1993. Her story An American in New York has been published in the United States, Italy and Denmark. I have the tape Hawk in Hand, which is live performance of several of LeAnne's stories set to music. LeAnne has researched many aspects of Choctaw society, such as bone-picking and early interactions with French settlers. All in all a good read. I look forward to seeing more of LeAnne's work in the future.