Writing by Indians of the American Southeast who were not removed
The two-hundred-year-old myth of the “vanishing” American Indian still holds some credence in the American Southeast, the region from which tens of thousands of Indians were relocated after passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830. Yet, as the editors of this volume amply demonstrate, a significant Indian population remained behind after those massive relocations.
The first anthology to focus on the literary work of Native Americans who trace their ancestry to “people who stayed” in southeastern states after 1830, this volume represents every state and every genre, including short stories, excerpts from novels, poetry, essays, plays, and even Web postings. Although most works are contemporary, the collection covers the entire post-Removal era. Some of the contributors are well known, while others have only recently emerged as important literary voices.
In this stirring collection of linked stories, Linda LeGarde Grover portrays an Ojibwe community struggling to follow traditional ways of life in the face of a relentlessly changing world.
In the title story an aunt recounts the harsh legacy of Indian boarding schools that tried to break the indigenous culture. In doing so she passes on to her niece the Ojibwe tradition of honoring elders through their stories. In “Refugees Living and Dying in the West End of Duluth,” this same niece comes of age in the 1970s against the backdrop of her forcibly dispersed family. A cycle of boarding schools, alcoholism, and violence haunts these stories even as the characters find beauty and solace in their large extended families. (The University of Georgia Press)