Synopses & Reviews
This collection of short fiction from Mohawk writer Maurice Kenny pushes us to explore truth or what we may perceive as truth, showing us different truths: truth of character, natural truth, everyday truth. Tortured Skins and Other Fictions, fourteen in number, form a cohesive study of characters and the anxiety provoking landscapes they inhabitseemingly idyllic settings are inverted, becoming corrupt backdrops for slaughter and destructiona broad metaphor for the relationships between the natives of this continent and its later colonizers.
The bear, as a trickster figure, resurfaces in various guises, various "'skins," throughout the pieces, confronting oblivious characters with their relationships to their worlds. These stories reflect today's world, merging its preoccupations of pop culture and paranormal occurrences. with the long oral tradition motif of animals existing as teachers with sometimes dubious methodsthe X-Files colliding with contemporary Native American fiction.
Ranging freely through time and place, Kenny's spirit is as unbounded as is his talent. This collection of powerful stories reveals what fiction can do in the hands of a master poet. Native American literature begins a new millennium of accomplishment with these extraordinary and moving pieces.
About the Author
Maurice Kenny, Mohawk, is an internationally renowned writer of poetry, fiction, and plays. Maurice's book of poems, Blackrobe: Isaac Jogues, B. March 11, 1607, D. October 18, 1646 was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, as was Between Two Rivers. He is the recipient of a National Public Radio Award for Broadcasting. His book The Mama Poems received the American Book Award in 1984. The Bloomsbury Review cited Wounds Beneath the Flesh as the best anthology of 1983. Maurice's work has been published in almost 100 journals, including special issues on Native American writing such as Trends, the Scottish journal from Paisley College, the Calaloo special issue on Native American writing, and World Literature Today. Other journals include American Indian Quarterly, Blue Cloud Quarterly, Wicazo Sa Review, Saturday Review, and the New York Times.
Table of Contents
Black Kettle: fear and recourse -- Blue Jacket -- The girl on the beach -- Visitation -- What's in a song -- She-Who-Speaks-With Bear -- Bacon -- Ohkwa:Ri -- Tortured skins -- One more -- Salmon -- What did you say? -- Hammer -- Forked tongues.