First Person, First Peoples Native American College Graduates Tell Their Life Stories

ISBN-10: 0801484146

ISBN-13: 9780801484148

Edition: 1997

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Description: Native American students entering college often experience a dramatic confrontation of cultures. As one of the writers in this remarkable collective memoir remarks, "When I was a child, I was taught certain things: don't stand up to your elders; don't question authority; life is precious; the earth is precious; take it slowly; enjoy it. And then you go to college and you learn all these other things that never fit." Making things fit, finding that elusive balance between tribal values and the demands of campus life is a recurring theme in this landmark collection of personal essays. Navajo or Choctaw, Tlingit or Sioux, each of the essayists (all graduates of Dartmouth College) gives a heartfelt account of struggle and adjustment. The result is a compelling portrait of the anguish Native American students feel justifying the existence of their own cultures not only to other students but also throughout the predominantly white institutions they have joined. Among the contributors are a tribal court judge and a professional baseball player, the first Navajo woman surgeon, and the former executive director of a Native American preparatory school. Their memories and insights are unparalleled.

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Book details

List price: $19.95
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 5/15/1997
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 280
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

The daughter of a full-blooded Chippewa, Louise Erdrich was born on July 6, 1954 in Little Falls, Minnesota, the daughter of Ralph and Rita Erdrich, both of whom were employed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Erdrich's heritage may explain her focus and interest in the Native Americans who populate her writing. In speaking of her childhood, Erdrich relates how her father used to give her a nickel for every story she wrote and her mother would provide construction paper for book covers. She always felt like a published author. In 1981 Erdrich married Native American author Michael Dorris and together they published The World's Greatest Fisherman, which won the Nelson Algren Award in 1982. In 1984 she won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Love Medicine, which is an expansion of the story she cowrote with Dorris. Love Medicine was also awarded the Virginia McCormick Scully Prize (1984), the Sue Kaufman Prize (1985) and the Los Angeles Times Award for best novel (1985). In addition to her prose, Erdrich has written several volumes of poetry, a textbook, and short stories and essays for popular magazines. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for professional excellence, including the National Magazine Fiction Award in 1983 and a first-prize O. Henry Award in 1987. Erdrich has also taught writing at Johns Hopkins University and Dartmouth College.

Foreword
Preface
Introduction
Refuse to Kneel
I Walk in Beauty
A Tlingit Brother of Alpha Chi
First Morning Light
My Grandmother and the Snake
I Dance for Me
Why Didn't You Teach Me?
The Web of Life
Coming Home
Machiavelli and Me
My Grub Box
Full Circle
The Good Ol' Days When Times Were Bad
About the Editors and Foreword Writer
Photograph Credits
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