Beyond Bounds: Cross-cultural Essays on Anglo, American Indian, and Chicano Literature

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University of New Mexico Press, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 170 pages
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A healthy disrespect for cultural exclusiveness marks the essays collected here, a series of appreciations and explications of writers not ordinarily considered together. As the author notes in his introduction, his own biography and career are reflected in this assemblage. An Anglo of mixed Irish, German, and American Indian heritage who grew up in a Hispanic neighborhood in Albuquerque, Gish has always known that "one's place on the academic, social, or cultural 'bus' (back, front, passenger, or driver) changes with the times, as does the bus itself." Here he shares with us not only his recent enthusiasmshe was among the first critics to consider such minority writers as Rudolfo Anaya, James Welch, Ray Young Bear, and Jimmy Santiago Baca, and his essays on them serve as excellent introductions to their work - but also his continuing appreciation for the Anglo writers he read as a young man. Today Charles Lummis, Erna and Harvey Fergusson, and Witter Bynner are often dismissed as paternalistic outsiders or colonialists. In disentangling their literary strengths from these stereotypes, Gish reminds us that we gain nothing from exclusivity. His openness to the varieties of American literature will make this book useful to a wide range of readers, especially students and teachers of college and high school literature classes.

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Charles F Lummis and Isleta Pueblo

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About the author (1996)

Robert Franklin Gish is director of Ethnic Studies and professor of English at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

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