I Tell You Now: Autobiographical Essays by Native American Writers

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University of Nebraska Press, 1987 - Literary Criticism - 283 pages
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A rich diversity of attitude, experience, and literary style can be seen in I Tell You Now. For these Native American writers, being caught between two cultures has sharpened the struggle for self-identity and a sense of self-worth. They describe their bittersweet memories of childhood and family life, their fight against prejudice and poverty, their triumph over personal problems, their role models and schooling, their reverence for the land and anger over the rape of it, and their sources of artistic inspiration. Metaphorically or literally, they do go home again—to a proud and dignified cultural heritage. And the vehicle for these inheritors of an oral tradition is the written word.

In their introduction, the editors, Brian Swann and Arnold Krupat, trace the history of Native American autobiography in its various forms.

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Contents

Koyukon Athabascan b 1918
2
by Balph Salisbury
18
CrowCreekSioux
56
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About the author (1987)

Brian Swann is a professor of English at the Cooper Union in New York City. A widely published author of poetry and fiction, he has written Song of the Sky: Versions of Native American Songs and Poems (1985) and has edited Smoothing the Ground: Essays on Native American Oral Literature (1982).

Arnold Krupat, a professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College, is the author of many articles on Native American literature and of For Those Who Come After: A Study of Native American Autobiography (1985).

The contributors are Mary TallMountain, Ralph Salisbury, Maurice Kenny, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Carter Revard, Jim Barnes, Gerald Vizenor, Jack D. Forbes, Duane Niatum, Paula Gunn Allen, Jimmie Durham, Diane Glancy, Simon J. Ortiz, Joseph Bruchac, Barney Bush, Linda Hogan, Wendy Rose, and Joy Harjo.

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