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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

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It's a wild and thundery night. Inside a ramshackle old manor house, a beautiful young girl lies asleep in bed. At the window, a figure watches... Continue »
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1 Burnside Native American- Literature

This title in other editions

Mountain Windsong: A Novel of the Trail of Tears

by

Mountain Windsong: A Novel of the Trail of Tears Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Set against the tragic events of the Cherokees' removal from their traditional lands in North Carolina to Indian Territory between 1835-1838, Mountain Windsong is a love story that brings to life the suffering and endurance of the Cherokee people. It is the moving tale of Waguli (Whippoorwill") and Oconeechee, a young Cherokee man and woman separated by the Trail of Tears. Just as they are about to be married, Waguli is captured be federal soldiers and, along with thousands of other Cherokees, taken west, on foot and then by steamboat, to what is now eastern Oklahoma. Though many die along the way, Waguli survives, drowning his shame and sorrow in alcohol. Oconeechee, among the few Cherokees who remain behind, hidden in the mountains, embarks on a courageous search for Waguli.

Robert J. Conley makes use of song, legend, and historical documents to weave the rich texture of the story, which is told through several, sometimes contradictory, voices. The traditional narrative of the Trail of Tears is told to a young contemporary Cherokee boy by his grandfather, presented in bits and pieces as they go about their everyday chores in rural North Carolina. The telling is neiter bitter nor hostile; it is sympathetic by unsentimental. An ironic third point of view, detached and often adversarial, is provided by the historical documents interspersed through the novel, from the text of the removal treaty to Ralph Waldo Emerson's letter to the president of the United States in protest of the removal. In this layering of contradictory elements, Conley implies questions about the relationships between history and legend, storytelling and myth-making.

Inspired by the lyrics of Don Grooms's song "Whippoorwill," which open many chapters in the text, Conley has written a novel both meticulously accurate and deeply moving.

About the Author

Venerated Cherokee writer Robert J. Conley (1940-204) is the author of ten novels in the Real People series, The Witch of Goingsnake and Other Stories, and Mountain Windsong, all available in paperback from the University of Oklahoma Press. A three-time winner of the Spur Award and Oklahoma Writer of the Year in 1999, Conley was inducted into the Oklahoma Professional Writers Hall of Fame in 1996. He was named Writer of the Year by the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers & Storytellers in 2000 for Cherokee Dragon.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780806127460
Author:
Conley, Robert J.
Publisher:
University of Oklahoma Press
Author:
Conley, Robert J.
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Man-woman relationships
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Trail of Tears, 1838
Subject:
Native American Studies
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback
Publication Date:
19950331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.51x5.42x.52 in. .58 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Native American » Literature

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