American Indian Literature A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Along the way readers encounter the diversity of Indigenous peoples who, owing to their differing lands, livelihoods, and customs, evolved literatures adapted to a nation's specific needs. While, in the nineteenth century, public lecture and journalism fortified eastern Indigenous writers against removal west, nearly a century later autobiography enabled western Indigenous authors to tell their side of the winning of the west. Throughout he treats Indigenous literature with such complexity. He describes the single-handed invention of a written Indigenous language, the first Indigenous language newspaper, and the literary occupation of Alcatraz Island. Returning to contemporary poetry, drama, and novel by authors such as D'Arcy McNickle, Leslie Silko, Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, Craig Womack, Teuton demonstrates that, like Indigenous people, Indigenous literature survives because it adapts, honoring the past yet reaching for the future.
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Sean Teuton is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Arkansas and author of Red Land, Red Power: Grounding Knowledge in the American Indian Novel. He divides his time between Fayetteville, Arkansas and the neighboring Cherokee Nation, where he is a citizen.
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