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Friday, November 16, 2007

White Authors Who Write on Indian Topics

This is an issue of INTENT v. OUTCOME.

Paraphrased from an interview at the end of the audio cassette, Indian Killer by Sherman Alexie.

This is a continuation of colonialism. These white authors tell Indian stories with a good heart and good intension, but the end result is they are substituting their voice for ours. They are taking our place in the literary world, taking our publication opportunities, and telling our stories.

Tony Hillerman has sold more books, than all Indian authors put together… ever (any one of his novels, in fact, has done this). I am making a COMMENT (not asking for censure), but commenting that white authors are more popular and get more attention because the general society would rather read a “white-made Indian” than an “Indian-made” Indian. Which means that OUR stories are not being told and not getting attention. This is the end result of their literary activity.

When I meet these authors, I encourage them to donate 10% of their royalties to the Native American College Fund (as far as he know, no one ever has).

My personal favorite Indian authors are: Leslie Silko, James Welch, Simon Ortix, Joy Hargrove, Adrian Lewis, and Linda Hogan.

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