Sunday, February 25, 2018

Ten of the best Native American novels

Brandon Hobson is the author of Where the Dead Sit Talking and other books. He is a recipient of a Pushcart Prize, and his work has appeared in such magazines as The Believer, The Paris Review Daily, Conjunctions, NOON, Post Road, Narrative Magazine, and in many other places. He holds a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University and is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation Tribe of Oklahoma.

One of his ten essential Native American novels, as shared at Publishers Weekly:
Pushing the Bear by Diane Glancy

In an old Cherokee myth, a bear is a representation of greed and satisfaction, so the title of this historical novel refers to the struggles the Cherokees endured on the Trail of Tears when they were removed from their land. As my own great-great-great grandmother walked and survived the Trail of Tears, I felt especially drawn to Maritole, the narrator, who serves as a voice for all the women as they are forced from their homes. Though Maritole serves as primary narrator, there are other voices throughout the book: Maritole’s husband, for example, who feels helpless; her father, who manages somehow to cling to hope; and other voices contribute to the desperation and helplessness. A very good novel detailing one of the saddest and cruelest episodes in U.S. history.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue