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Genocide of the Mind: New Native American Writing

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After five centuries of Eurocentrism, many people have little idea that Native American tribes still exist, or which traditions belong to what tribes. However over the past decade there has been a rising movement to accurately describe Native cultures and histories. In particular, people have begun to explore the experience of urban Indians—individuals who live in two worl After five centuries of Eurocentrism, many people have little idea that Native American tribes still exist, or which traditions belong to what tribes. However over the past decade there has been a rising movement to accurately describe Native cultures and histories. In particular, people have begun to explore the experience of urban Indians—individuals who live in two worlds struggling to preserve traditional Native values within the context of an ever-changing modern society. In Genocide of the Mind, the experience and determination of these people is recorded in a revealing and compelling collection of essays that brings the Native American experience into the twenty-first century. Contributors include: Paula Gunn Allen, Simon Ortiz, Sherman Alexie, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Maurice Kenny, as well as emerging writers from different Indian nations.


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After five centuries of Eurocentrism, many people have little idea that Native American tribes still exist, or which traditions belong to what tribes. However over the past decade there has been a rising movement to accurately describe Native cultures and histories. In particular, people have begun to explore the experience of urban Indians—individuals who live in two worl After five centuries of Eurocentrism, many people have little idea that Native American tribes still exist, or which traditions belong to what tribes. However over the past decade there has been a rising movement to accurately describe Native cultures and histories. In particular, people have begun to explore the experience of urban Indians—individuals who live in two worlds struggling to preserve traditional Native values within the context of an ever-changing modern society. In Genocide of the Mind, the experience and determination of these people is recorded in a revealing and compelling collection of essays that brings the Native American experience into the twenty-first century. Contributors include: Paula Gunn Allen, Simon Ortiz, Sherman Alexie, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Maurice Kenny, as well as emerging writers from different Indian nations.

30 review for Genocide of the Mind: New Native American Writing

  1. 4 out of 5

    John Monahan

    This is an insightful collection of essays from some of the best Native American writers of today. Using stories and personal recollections, they present a compelling picture of how their culture and language was taken from them. Perhaps more importantly, they write passionately about their own effort and the efforts of others to reclaim that which was lost and preserve their heritage for coming generations. Carol Snow Moon Bachofner eloquently makes this point in her essay Don't Talk, Don't Liv This is an insightful collection of essays from some of the best Native American writers of today. Using stories and personal recollections, they present a compelling picture of how their culture and language was taken from them. Perhaps more importantly, they write passionately about their own effort and the efforts of others to reclaim that which was lost and preserve their heritage for coming generations. Carol Snow Moon Bachofner eloquently makes this point in her essay Don't Talk, Don't Live by describing a conversation with her grandmother. "Nana B. told me to be proud to be an Abenaki, and that the Avenaki people were alive, living through her blood in me. She also told me in one of the saddest voices I've ever heard that our language is dying. I remember the tears in her eyes when she whispered that to me. I wondered how a people could be alive and their language be dead. She said, "Dong' talk, don't live. It's that simple." I wanted to learn to speak the Abenaki language so it wouldn't die, so I wouldn't die."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Reema

    so far, uneven pieces in here, and not really all that clear how things were organized. but there are also some shimmering pieces that stand on their own--for voice, political analysis, and a storytelling that weaves old tradition with new ones.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nomad

    Amazing and really thought provoking. For non-Natives this book REALLY challenges the stereotypes and what we think when we think Native American in teh 20/21st century. I highly recommend this one.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rose Klix

    Insightful, intelligently written stories of balancing life in both the white and Indian worlds. This is provided by members of many tribes, but with similar experiences and emotions. There are several reflections expressed as poetry.

  5. 5 out of 5

    nicole

    a wonderful collection of contemporary native american writing. i like that this collection includes some lesser known (read: not as commercially successful as sherman alexie) authors.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lissa

    This book is a collection of essays written by Native Americans of various tribes/nations and backgrounds. A wide variety of topics are covered - Native Americans used as mascots for sports teams, the loss of Native languages, racism, living in urban areas, discovering culture and history, and what it means to be Native American today. The essays are fascinating. I can nearly guarantee that at least some of the essays in this collection will make the reader uncomfortable, and they will definitel This book is a collection of essays written by Native Americans of various tribes/nations and backgrounds. A wide variety of topics are covered - Native Americans used as mascots for sports teams, the loss of Native languages, racism, living in urban areas, discovering culture and history, and what it means to be Native American today. The essays are fascinating. I can nearly guarantee that at least some of the essays in this collection will make the reader uncomfortable, and they will definitely make you think, as well.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael Blackmore

    Really liked this collection of essays. Like any such collection there can be a hit or miss aspect depending on the reader's POV. For me, most were a definite win and only a couple didn't work for me. There was nothing in the collection that was really new information for me since I'm pretty familiar with the material, but I suspect much of it would be enlightening and thoughtful reading for many folks. Definitely recommended. Really liked this collection of essays. Like any such collection there can be a hit or miss aspect depending on the reader's POV. For me, most were a definite win and only a couple didn't work for me. There was nothing in the collection that was really new information for me since I'm pretty familiar with the material, but I suspect much of it would be enlightening and thoughtful reading for many folks. Definitely recommended.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rook

    A real mix, but very solid overall, and often very powerful. There are admittedly a handful of essays scattered throughout the book where the authors try to fight generalizations with generalizations and racisms with racisms, but that kind of thing is both easy to fall into and also quite common when works are collected from a broad array of authors. The poems by Maurice Kenny I thought were particularly hard-hitting and beautifully done.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Roger Green

    This is a nice collection of Native American writing from a variety of perspectives with respect to urban and reservation life. It's particularly useful in composition courses as a reader to blend diverse perspectives with genre knowledges. It has memoirs, songs, and poetry while addressing many dilemmas that indigenous people face. This is a nice collection of Native American writing from a variety of perspectives with respect to urban and reservation life. It's particularly useful in composition courses as a reader to blend diverse perspectives with genre knowledges. It has memoirs, songs, and poetry while addressing many dilemmas that indigenous people face.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Angela Gebhardt

    Excellent collection of essays from both known and unknown authors. Extremely thought provoking and should be a must read for anyone interested in the duality that is living as a Native American in today's world. Excellent collection of essays from both known and unknown authors. Extremely thought provoking and should be a must read for anyone interested in the duality that is living as a Native American in today's world.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Raye G.

    I have been reading this book for the last year! A little hard to get into but once you do it's good. It is a collection of essays by Native Americans who write about basically existing in two worlds: their native world and the modern/urban world. Interesting. I have been reading this book for the last year! A little hard to get into but once you do it's good. It is a collection of essays by Native Americans who write about basically existing in two worlds: their native world and the modern/urban world. Interesting.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    I didn't read every word, got dull after awhile, the plight of ACTUAL Americans in this country is terrible. And nothing really seems to be being done about it. Total shame. I didn't read every word, got dull after awhile, the plight of ACTUAL Americans in this country is terrible. And nothing really seems to be being done about it. Total shame.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Miranda

    This book was a really emotional read for me. The issues written about by several different native authors resonated with me.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    There is a lot of diverse voices from different tribes in this book. It is hard to hear of the murder of so many Indians by whites, but it is very important that their history is not forgotten.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rhiannon

    This was a wonderful book, although difficult to read at times. I think everyone should read this book. Especially people who think there is no harm in having racist sports team names.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Pickyreaderinblack

    Have not read yet - but if Vine Deloria had anything to do with this book, I'll read it. Got a lot of respect for that person as a Native American advocate and spiritual warrior. Have not read yet - but if Vine Deloria had anything to do with this book, I'll read it. Got a lot of respect for that person as a Native American advocate and spiritual warrior.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mel Luna

    In the words of Diane Fraher in the final piece included in this compilation, "Indian people are emerging from the invisibility of a romanticized past and a mythological tipi and cowboy-killer culture confined to roaming the short grass prairie and uttering ecological and religious prophecies only." For those who are interested in hearing those voices, I highly recommend this book. In the words of Diane Fraher in the final piece included in this compilation, "Indian people are emerging from the invisibility of a romanticized past and a mythological tipi and cowboy-killer culture confined to roaming the short grass prairie and uttering ecological and religious prophecies only." For those who are interested in hearing those voices, I highly recommend this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Allen Pryor

    This book brought me to tears and wretching. Still, I can't recommend this book enough to everyone I meet. It is so important we don't forget the reality and gravity of what was and still is the blatant disregard of Native American sovereignty and lives. This is an important part of American history that must be shared as much as possible. This book brought me to tears and wretching. Still, I can't recommend this book enough to everyone I meet. It is so important we don't forget the reality and gravity of what was and still is the blatant disregard of Native American sovereignty and lives. This is an important part of American history that must be shared as much as possible.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Very good anthology. I read this for school.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Robinson

    great writings, very interesting.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Malliett

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

  23. 5 out of 5

    Spencer Ellsworth

  24. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gosia

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  27. 4 out of 5

    Win

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cayce Kenedy-brabson

  29. 4 out of 5

    Allison Granmo

  30. 5 out of 5

    Máy Mini

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