Date of this Version
Great Plains Quarterly Vol. 29, No. 3, Summer 2009, pp. 254-255
Transatlantic Voices represents some of the most recent critical studies of contemporary Native North American literature by fourteen European scholars. Drawing on Paul Gilroy's notion of the Atlantic as a site for cross-cultural exchange in our globalized era, editor Elvira Pulitano suggests that until now the Atlantic has not been sufficiently recognized as important for Native American studies. Transatlantic Voices seeks to fill this gap. Acutely aware of their strategic location as neither Natives nor Americans, the authors explore various kinds of "crossings": theoretical, geographical, thematic, and epistemological. Their essays present original contributions to current debates in Native North American studies.
Articles in the first part, "Theoretical Crossings," problematize notions of "story," "history," and "transculturality" in ways that are both controversial and provocative. The second part, "From Early Fiction to Recent Directions," addresses Native-European encounters (by writers including John Joseph Mathews, D'Arcy McNickle, Louise Erdrich, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Louis Owens), asking such questions as how "cosmopolitan" Native North American novels are. Part three, on "Trauma, Memory, and Narratives of Healing," explores the imaginative works of Native women writers such as Paula Gunn Allen and Wendy Rose and demonstrates compellingly that trauma studies are relevant to critical studies of Native North American literature.