Cherokee Thoughts, Honest and Uncensored

Robert J. Conley, Author . Univ. of Oklahoma $19.95 (200p) ISBN 978-0-8061-3943-2

Whether or not readers are already familiar with Cherokee history and culture, they will be gripped by this collection of lively essays from Conley, award-winning novelist, Oklahoma native and Cherokee Indian. The author weighs in with fresh and invariably personal emphasis on everything from the rise of Indian casinos to less generally appreciated topics and controversies like the history of Cherokee slavery and Cherokee freedmen. Also collected are rich reflections on Cherokee women and the legacy of the matriarchal clan, the (overlooked) breadth of Cherokee literature, renowned bank robber Henry Starr, Cherokee migration to California, Indian humor and much more. Conley roots his discussions in genial, deceptively unadorned prose that continually references real human beings, famous and otherwise, while maintaining a restless engagement with the relationship between politics, history and the use and misuse of language. His penchant for outspokenness may strike some readers as impulsive, but his prose and analyses, effortlessly blending indigenous and local knowledge with the larger Western cultural canon, have undeniable charm and enduring value. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/01/2008
Release date: 10/01/2008
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