Interior Landscapes: Autobiographical Myths and Metaphors

Gerald Robert Vizenor, Author University of Minnesota Press $23.5 (279p) ISBN 978-0-8166-1848-4
Growing up as a mixed-blood Minnesota Chippewa Indian, novelist-poet Vizenor faced racism and personal traumas. His father, at age 26, was fatally knifed; his mother, who periodically left him with foster families, remarried an alcoholic who beat him. Enlistment in the army took Vizenor to Japan, where views of Mount Fuji and a romance with a Japanese woman helped liberate his imagination. His haikus won him a college teaching job; he also worked as a mental hospital orderly, organized Indian protests and, as a Minneapolis Tribune reporter, exposed covert CIA domestic operations. In a questing autobiography that hops from Wounded Knee to Beijing, the author, a professor at UC- Santa Cruz, tries on the mythic identities of compassionate trickster and tribal hunter. As a guest at anthropologist Clyde Kluckhohn's haunted house in Santa Fe, N.M., he finds his dreams invaded by skinwalkers, beasts from the world of the dead. Photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
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