While engaging a wide spectrum of Native American writing, Teuton focuses on three of the most canonized and, he contends, most misread novels of the era—N. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn (1968), James Welch’s Winter in the Blood (1974), and Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony (1977). Through his readings, he demonstrates the utility of tribal realism as an interpretive framework to explain social transformations in Indian Country during the Red Power era and today. Such transformations, Teuton maintains, were forged through a process of political awakening that grew from Indians’ rethought experience with tribal lands and oral traditions, the body and imprisonment, in literature and in life.
Sean Kicummah Teuton is Associate Professor of English and American Indian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
Criticism of Native literature in its current development, Krupat suggests, operates from one of three critical perspectives against colonialism that he calls nationalism, indigenism, and cosmopolitanism. Nationalist critics are foremost concerned with tribal sovereignty, indigenist critics focus on non-Western modes of knowledge, and cosmopolitan critics wish to look elsewhere for comparative possibilities. Krupat persuasively contends that all three critical perspectives can work in a complementary rather than an oppositional fashion.
A work marked by theoretical sophistication, wide learning, and social passion, Red Matters is a major contribution to the imperative effort of understanding the indigenous presence on the American continents.
This book has been written with the narrow conviction that if Native American literature is worth thinking about at all, it is worth thinking about as literature. The vast majority of thought that has been poured out onto Native American literature has puddled, for the most part, on how the texts are positioned in relation to history or culture.
Rather than create a comprehensive cultural and historical genealogy for Native American literature, David Treuer investigates a selection of the most important Native American novels and, with a novelist's eye and a critic's mind, examines the intricate process of understanding literature on its own terms.
Native American Fiction: A User's Manual is speculative, witty, engaging, and written for the inquisitive reader. These essays—on Sherman Alexie, Forrest Carter, James Fenimore Cooper, Louise Erdrich, Leslie Marmon Silko, and James Welch—are rallying cries for the need to read literature as literature and, ultimately, reassert the importance and primacy of the word.
A 2000 study published by the Annual Survey of International and Comparative Law recommends that the United Nations offer membership to the Iroquois, Cherokee, Navajo, and other Indian tribes. Ironically, the study also recommends that smaller tribes band together to form a confederation to seek membership—a suggestion nearly identical to the one the United States made to the Delaware Indians in 1778—and that a presidential commission explore ways to move beyond the Doctrine of Discovery, under which European nations justified their confiscation of Indian lands. Many of these ideas appear here in this book, which predates the 2000 study by twenty-six years. Thus, Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties anticipates recent events as history comes full circle, making the book imperative reading for anyone wishing to understand the background of the movement of American Indians onto the world political stage.
In the quarter century since this book was written, Indian nations have taken great strides in demonstrating their claims to recognized nationhood. Together with Tribes, Treaties, and Constitutional Tribulations, by Deloria and David E. Wilkins, Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties highlights the historical events that helped bring these changes to fruition. At the conclusion of Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties, Deloria states: "The recommendations made in the Twenty Points and the justification for such a change as articulated in the book may well come to pass in our lifetime." Now we are seeing his statement come true.