Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
This is Beth Brant's first collection of her own work (she also edited A Gathering of Spirit, a collection of writings by American Indian women, for Sinister Wisdom). Length, genre and approach are mixed: poetry, short story, vignette, ritual, coyote tale. Thematic unity emerges in the book through Brant's focus on integrating and synthesizing her Mohawk family heritage with her current situation as writer, urban mother, and lesbian lover. The piece titled "A Long Story" brings the three themes together in the alternating soliloquies of a nineteenth-century Indian mother whose children have been wrenched a way to boarding school and a lesbian mother of the 1970s who has lost her children to patriarchal court orders. Some stories present explicitly erotic material; "Coyote Learns a New Trick," with its gentle, graphic, turnaround seduction story, makes an excellent comparison with Gerald Vizenor's treatment of sexuality. Prudes will find the sex too explicit, and aesthetes will find in the book a faux-naive style that lacks irony and subtlety.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1989