Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
Life Lived Like a Story, a volume in the American Indian Lives Series, contains the transcribed autobiographies of three women of the Yukon: Angela Sidney, Kitty Smith, and Annie Ned. In her introduction, Cruikshank states that the book is "based on the premise that life-history investigation provides a model for research." To meet this goal, Cruikshank's methodology depended upon ongoing collaborations between interviewer and interviewees. The three remarkable women who share their life stories in this volume were all raised on the inland side of the high country frontier separating coastal Tlingit and interior Athapaskans; all can claim both Athapaskan and Tlingit ancestry; and all were born within a few years of the Klondike gold rush (1896-98), a period at the close of an intensive period of Tlingit-Athapaskan trade and a period of unprecedented change. Cruikshank, with her careful attention to methodology, language, and the wishes of her subjects, has produced a volume of autobiographies that uses an oral tradition grounded in local speech and a shared body of mythological and traditional knowledge. The genre successfully captures the essence of each of these three women's lives -- the hardships as well as the humor -- and the genre also underscores the recurring theme of connection to both nature and other people.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1992