Tag: Native Americans

  • Joy Harjo Reclaims America

    Joy Harjo Reclaims America

    Joy Harjo wants to reclaim America. That’s what I imagine as I read through the wide variety of poems in her most recent book. An American Sunrise plays with form and time, pulling together strands to weave a picture of the land, particularly the land traced by the journey of Harjo’s ancestors, the Muscogee (Mvskoke), […]

  • #5 Heartlands Best Reads of 2018: There, There

    #5 Heartlands Best Reads of 2018: There, There

    It was Gertrude Stein who famously said of Oakland that “there is no there there.” In his debut novel, There There, Tommy Orange begs to differ. A pow wow in Oakland draws together a diverse group of Native Americans for a dramatic and violent encounter. But this is really about the stories and journeys that bring […]

  • Dreams Nursed in Darkness: Tommy Orange’s There, There

    Dreams Nursed in Darkness: Tommy Orange’s There, There

    The best way to understand the ending of There, There, Tommy Orange’s new novel, is to remember that the bullets were always coming.  Orange tells you this in the non-fiction prologue to the book where he describes what it’s like to be a Native American today.  The Europeans who ‘settled’ the land “fired their guns […]

  • Little Houses and Big Truths on the Prairie: Caroline Fraser’s Laura Ingalls Wilder

    Little Houses and Big Truths on the Prairie: Caroline Fraser’s Laura Ingalls Wilder

    It takes a lot of work to uncover what really happened to the vast prairies of the North American Midwest.  You have to dig under Frederick Jackson Turner’s famous 1890 declaration that the frontier had made America what it was and now it was gone.  Pioneer famers, Turner said, had busted sod, felled forests, and […]