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Hotline Healersby Gerald Robe Vizenor
Synopses & Reviews
This satirical tour de force teases readers out of a complacent acceptance of romantic stereotypes.
In this collection of eleven linked stories, Gerald Vizenor brings back one of his most popular characters, Almost Browne, in full trickster force. Born in the back of a hatchback, almost on the White Earth Reservation, this crossblood storyteller schemes — for instance in the hilarious tale that makes for the title of the book — to install a "hotline healers" call-in service by equipping Indians on the reservation with cellular phones, so busy people in need of spiritual assistance can talk "live", for example, to the boy who talks to the bear.
In this collection of eleven linked stories, Gerald Vizenor brings back one of his most popular characters, Almost Browne, in full trickster force. Born in the back of a hatchback, almost on the White Earth Reservation, this crossblood storyteller sells blank books — some autographed (by him) with such names as Isaac Singer, Geoffrey Chaucer, N. Scott Momaday, and Jesus Christ; projects laser demons over the reservation; lectures in the Transethnic Situations Department at the University of California; is crowned Indian Princess of the University of Oklahoma by posing as the mature senior Penny Birdwind (who majors in native animations and simulations) and delivering a heartstopping, lip-synched rendition of Peggy Lee's Fever; and much more. The stories feature many members of the Browne family, including Grandmother Wink, who can drop an insect in flight with a single puff of her poison breath, and great-uncle Gesture, the acudenturist who creates false teeth with tricky smiles from the Naanabozho Express, the free railroad train he runs on the reservation.
Vizenor's work, drawing upon the trickster tradition in Native American culture, is among the most radical in Native American writing today. Academics of all stripes, but particularly anthropologists, champions of victimry, Richard Nixon, and many others come under the lash of Vizenor's satiric tongue in this hilarious, often surreal work.
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