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Wordarrows: Native States of Literary Sovereignty
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University of Nebraska Press
Pub Date: 2003
ISBN: 9780803296299
Gerald Vizenor
Wordarrows: Native States of Literary Sovereignty
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Wordarrows: Native States of Literary Sovereignty

by Gerald Vizenor

With wry humor and imaginative acuity, noted writer Gerald Vizenor offers compelling glimpses of modern Native American life and the different ways that Native Americans and whites interact, fight, and resolve their conflicts. The elusive borderland between white and Native American cultures is further complicated by exchanges of money, services, language, and skills that make up what Vizenor calls the "new fur trade." When Native Americans resist dominance, they fight back incisively and creatively with humor in the strategic word wars of survivance over victimry. Vizenor illuminates the troubling encounters and distant reaches of this modernist fur trade through his creative narratives. Especially memorable is the reincarnation of General George Custer as the head of Native American programs and the mystifying play of words between charity agencies and Native Americans. Several of Vizenor's stories focus on a so-called urban reservation, Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis. In the last section Vizenor recalls his experiences and observations while reporting on the murder trial of a young Native American student, Thomas White Hawk, in South Dakota.

Gerald Vizenor is a professor of American Studies and Native American literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of more than twenty books, including Fugitive Poses: Native American Indian Scenes of Absence and Presence and Manifest Manners: Narratives on Postindian Survivance, both published by the University of Nebraska Press.