A Novel

Book - 1993
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Perseus Publishing
Lee Maracle, author of the best-selling I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism, sets this novel in an urban Native American community on the Pacific Northwest coast in the early 1950s. Ravensong is by turns damning, humorous, inspirational, and prophetic.

Publisher: Vancouver : Press Gang Publishers, c1993
ISBN: 9780889740440
Characteristics: 199 p. ; 23 cm


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Oct 06, 2010

I read this for my Canadian Lit. class. This is one of the first books written by a native Indian and that is one of the claims it makes to fame. It’s a work of exquisite imagery, woven with the strong feelings that keeps it immortal. However, to anyone reading this in the contemporary time, Caucasians especially, the scorn and rejection of all things “White” will perhaps be difficult to accept. It would be only too easy to paint the author a racist without stopping to put her story into context. Whatever she has writing, whatever her feelings towards the people invading her land and making claims to it if put into context actually makes sense. It’s understand, her less than charitable feelings towards people who deem her people as less than humans, savages even. I want to point out that the white settlers were the ones who rejected them first, shoving them into reserves, trying to make them into a “mimic people.” So I don’t understand why their antagonism is any sort of surprise. Anyway, the book is basically an assertion of a people who have been, for too long, been stereotyped, discriminated against. Pushed to the edges of society, made invisible. Yes, it’s not going to go around making anyone feel all warm and fuzzy. It’s not going to make race relations any better. Maracle’s blatant rejection of everything Caucasian is just the result of the domination of the white settlers. As for the writing, characterization, etc, that’s all secondary in this one instance. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to a different perspective.

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