The Cambridge Companion to Native American Literature

The Cambridge Companion to Native American Literature

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Invisible, marginal, expected - these words trace the path of recognition for American Indian literature written in English since the late eighteenth century. This Companion chronicles and celebrates that trajectory by defining relevant institutional, historical, cultural, and gender contexts, by outlining the variety of genres written since the 1770s, and also by focusing on significant authors who established a place for Native literature in literary canons in the 1970s (Momaday, Silko, Welch, Ortiz, Vizenor), achieved international recognition in the 1980s (Erdrich), and performance-celebrity status in the 1990s (Harjo and Alexie). In addition to the seventeen chapters written by respected experts - Native and non-Native; American, British and European scholars - the Companion includes bio-bibliographies of forty authors, maps, suggestions for further reading, and a timeline which details major works of Native American literature and mainstream American literature, as well as significant social, cultural and historical events. An essential overview of this powerful literature.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 4 b/w illus. 6 maps
  • 1139797506
  • 9781139797504

Table of contents

Introduction Kenneth M. Roemer; Time line: literary, historical and cultural conjunctions Kenneth M. Roemer; Part I. Historical and Cultural Contexts: 1. Historical and cultural contexts to Native American literature Joy Porter; 2. Translation and mediation David Murray; 3. Women writers and gender issues Annette Van Dyke; Part II. Genre Contexts: 4. Non-fiction prose Bernd Peyer; 5. Native American life writing Hertha D. Sweet Wong; 6. America's indigenous poetry Norma C. Wilson; 7. Pre-1968 fiction A. Lavonne Brown Ruoff; 8. Fiction: 1968 to the present James Ruppert; 9. American Indian theatre Ann Haugo; Part III. Individual Authors: 10. N. Scott Momaday: becoming the bear Chadwick Allen; 11. Simon Ortiz: writing home Patricia Clark Smith; 12. James Welch: identity, circumstance and chance Kathryn W. Shanley; 13. Leslie Marmon Silko: storyteller Robert M. Nelson; 14. Gerald Vizenor: postindian liberation Kimberly M. Blaeser; 15. Louise Erdrich's storied universe Catherine Rainwater; 16. Joy Harjo's poetry Laura Coltelli; 17. Sherman Alexie: irony, intimacy, and agency David L. Moore; Bio-bibliographies; Further reading; Index.
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Review quote

'An impressive collection of essays! Porter and Roemer have nicely framed a conversation by scholars on what native literature was, is, and will become in the 21st century. Readers will find diversity in this volume - and by that I mean essays on poetry, fiction, history, and theater, and culture.' LeAnne Howe, Author of Shell Shaker 'It is a distinguished work, clear in its writing, fortunate in its selections, thoroughly available to a wide audience, and expertly researched. Here is an invaluable resource, not only for students and teachers of Native American literature, but for anyone who has an interest in the subject. It is at once an excellent guide and the best of companions.' N. Scott Momaday 'A serious, insightful and in-depth resource guide.' Simon J. Ortiz '... it will provide a very thorough and thoughtful overview to the subject of Native American writing, the complexities of its study, and the major authors who comprise its current canon.' American Studies Today '... a highly informative volume. ... well bound and clearly printed. ... highly recommended for all libraries purchasing materials on North American literatures, culture and history.' Reference Reviews
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About Joy Porter

Joy Porter is a lecturer in the Department of American Studies at the University of Wales, Swansea, where she teaches a range of courses on American and Native American history and literature. She is the author of To Be Indian: The Life of Seneca-Iroquois Arthur Caswell Parker, 1881-1955 (2002). Her work on Indian themes can be found in a variety of journals and books such as New York History and The State of US History (Berg 2002). Previously she was Senior Lecturer in American History at Anglia Polytechnic University, Cambridge, where she established a range of courses on Indian and American history. Her next book is Native American Freemasonry, the research for which was supported by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship. Kenneth M. Roemer, an Academy of Distinguished Teachers Professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, has received four NEH grants to direct Summer seminars and has been a Visiting Professor in Japan, a guest lecturer at Harvard, and lectured in Vienna, Lisbon, Brazil, and Turkey. His articles have appeared in journals such as American Literature, American Literary History, and Modern Fiction Studies. His Approaches to Teaching Momaday's The Way to Rainy Mountain (ed.) was published by the MLA; his Native American Writers of the United States (ed.) won a Writer of Year Award from Wordcraft Circle. He has written four books on utopian literature, including The Obsolete Necessity and Utopian Audiences. His collection of personal narratives, verse, and photography about Japan is entitled Michibata de Deatta Nippon (A Sidewalker's Japan).
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