Here First: Autobiographical Essays by Native American Writers
Book: Here First: Autobiographical Essays by Native American Writers , by Arnold Krupat (Editor), Brian Swann, ISBN10: 0375751386, ISBN13: 9780375751387, Random House Publishing Group, March 2000, Paperback
Arnold Krupat is the author of several books, including The Turn to the Native: Studies in Criticism & Culture and the novel Woodsmen, or Thoreau and the Indians. He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.
Brian Swann has published a number of collections of poetry and fiction, including Wearing the Morning Star: Native American Song-Poems and Coming to Light: Contemporary Translations of the Native Literatures of North America. He teaches at the Cooper Union in New York City.
Here First is an important new collection of essays by Native American writers compiled by Arnold Krupat and Brian Swann, the editors of I Tell You Now: Autobiographical Essays by Native American Writers. In Here First, authors such as Sherman Alexie, Greg Sarris, and Elizabeth Woody tell the stories of their lives and their art. Each essay demonstrates the breadth of experience of twenty-seven individuals united in the creative expression of a Native American heritage. Each has a different relation to that heritage, and in describing it through personal and family history, with verse and in anecdotes, the writers give a strong image of the different cultures that have shaped them. This is living history and the kind of collective memoir that makes for fascinating and rewarding readingone of the most vivid and diverse portraits of Native American culture available today.
This anthology of 26 essays is a follow-up to I Tell You Now (1978). The authors, born mostly in the 1940s or after, come from many different tribes. Some are full blood, others mixed; some were raised on a reservation, others weren't; and some are well known, others obscure. They are professors, artists, poets, novelists, playwrights, social workers, and more. Krupat (English, Sarah Lawrence Coll.) and Swann (English, Cooper Union) assert that the essays reflect not only how many different ways there are to be Indian today but also how many different ways there are to write about these experiences. After a misanthropic description of American life, W.S. Penn admits, "The problem is that I don't really hate America. I hate the fact that what I want America to do is like me." Rex Lee Jim declares, "When I realized that everything matters, I immediately knew that my destiny was completely in my control." Vickie Sears calls writing "a wind" and a "moving in dreamdance." Like the previous anthology, this collection is a mixed bag but still a valuable contribution to Native American studies and literary scholarship.--Nancy P. Shires, East Carolina Univ., Greenville, NC Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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