cover image The Cold-And-Hunger Dance

The Cold-And-Hunger Dance

Diane Glancy. University of Nebraska Press, $25 (109pp) ISBN 978-0-8032-2173-4

Glancy (Pushing the Bear; The West Pole) admits to having ""written because I was hungry for words."" The reader here is served up little more than a gruel, or a mishmash of words striving for meaning. If, in fact, ""many Native American writers say that our words are our most important possession,"" then one would think a writer of Cherokee descent would be more cautious with the possessions she shares with the world. While at times enlightening (as in ""She-ro-ism"") and entertaining (""Why Nations War""), the endless pontificating upon Jesus and the role of Christianity in her life makes this feel more like an inspirational book than a collection of essays. ""I think I can say language exists because God exists"" is, indeed, one of the oddest sentiments from a writer in recent memory. Yet the most bizarre passages are the retelling of a Ute myth in which Jesus Christ is the bringer of the Sun Dance to the Utes, and a comparison of Black Elk Speaks with the Bible. These are perhaps some of the most original instances of mining Christianity for whatever one desires, while subconsciously undermining the validity of Native religions. This is ultimately a strange and insipid tome from a writer who has done much better. Photos. (Oct.)