Telling a Good One: The Process of a Native American Collaborative Biography

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University of Nebraska Press, 2000 - Social Science - 365 pages
Telling a Good One is the first comprehensive examination of the collaborative process that creates a Native American life story. Kathleen Mullen Sands draws on her partnership with the late Theodore Rios, a Tohono O'odham (formerly Papago) narrator, to address crucial issues surrounding the inscribing of a life story.

Sands examines the creative, critical, and cultural processes behind this increasingly popular mode of self-expression. The impetus, initial negotiations, interview process, narrative content and style, and the editing and interpretation phases of a Native American life story are all given equal scrutiny. Of particular interest are Sands's successes and failings as a collaborator and the influence of Tohono O'odham culture and its tradition of storytelling on Rios's actions and words. Sands examines the effects of her personal background and academic training on her actions and decisions, how her experiences compare with other collaborative autobiographies and biographies, and the role of academia and publishers in shaping expectations about the content and format of Native American biographies and autobiographies.

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Introduction l
Collaborative Personal Narrative
Collaborative Life Story

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About the author (2000)

Born in 1915, Theodore Rios lived in the San Xavier del Bac District, southwest of Tucson, Arizona. He was part of the first generation of Tohono O'odhams to attend boarding school. Employed as a rancher in his youth, he spent much of his adult life doing mining work. In the 1970s he told the story of his life to Kathleen Mullen Sands. Sands is a professor of English at Arizona State University and the coauthor of American Indian Women: Telling Their Lives.

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