From the Glittering World: A Navajo Story
The Dine, or Navajo, creation story says that there were four worlds before this one, and this fifth world is the Glittering World. For the present-day Dine, it is also a world of glittering technology and influences from outside the sacred land entrusted to them by the Holy People. One of the first books about Dine life to come from within that culture, From the Glittering World, by Irvin Morris, conveys in vivid language how a contemporary Dine writer experiences this world as a mingling of the profoundly traditional with the sometimes jarringly, sometimes alluringly new. A blend of fiction, memoir, history, and myth, the book is cast in the form of a ceremony. The first of four parts, a retelling of the creation story and the tragic experience of Fort Sumner, concludes with a return to the homeland and a spiritual rebirth. Second is a fictionalized account of the author's childhood and young manhood. Raised both on and off the reservation, he leaves for Los Angeles as a teenager and first encounters the dangers of life on the street. Opportunities to study in various locations draw him into an increasingly larger world. The third part brings him into the present, into the glare and sparkle of modern times. The fourth part, a set of short stories, is the sum of the preceding. Reflecting the totality of myth, history, and personal experience from which they spring, the stories sketch with humor and compassion various aspects of the clash between white and Dine culture. Together they express the rich background and wealth of experience of contemporary Dine life.
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