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Selection of the Month
Sacred Wilderness by
Publication Date: 2014-02-01
A Clan Mother story for the twenty-first century, Sacred Wilderness explores the lives of four women of different eras and backgrounds who come together to restore foundation to a mixed-up, mixed-blood woman--a woman who had been living the American dream, and found it a great maw of emptiness. These Clan Mothers may be wisdom-keepers, but they are anything but stern and aloof--they are women of joy and grief, risking their hearts and sometimes their lives for those they love. The novel swirls through time, from present-day Minnesota to the Mohawk territory of the 1620s, to the ancient biblical world, brought to life by an indigenous woman who would come to be known as the Virgin Mary. The Clan Mothers reveal secrets, the insights of prophecy, and stories that are by turns comic, so painful they can break your heart, and perhaps even powerful enough to save the world. In lyrical, lushly imagined prose, Sacred Wilderness is a novel of unprecedented necessity.
The following conversation points will be used as basic prompts for discussion, food for thought, etc.
- What was your initial reaction to the book? Did it hook you immediately, or take some time to get into?
- What was your favorite quote/passage?
- Which character did you relate to the most, and what was it about them that you connected with?
- How did you feel about the ending? What did you like, what did you not like, and what do you wish had been different?
- Did the book change your opinion or perspective about anything? Do you feel different now than you did before you read it?
Adapted from General Book Club Questions - https://www.bustle.com/articles/167822-13-general-book-club-questions-for-any-kind-of-discussion
Further Reading and Materials
Learn, Teach, Challenge: Approaching Indigenous Literatures by This is a collection of classic and newly commissioned essays about the study of Indigenous literatures in North America. The contributing scholars include some of the most venerable Indigenous theorists, among them Gerald Vizenor (Anishinaabe), Jeannette Armstrong (Okanagan), Craig Womack (Creek), Kimberley Blaeser (Anishinaabe), Emma LaRocque (Métis), Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee), Janice Acoose (Saulteaux), and Jo-Ann Episkenew (Métis). Also included are settler scholars foundational to the field, including Helen Hoy, Margery Fee, and Renate Eigenbrod. Among the newer voices are both settler and Indigenous theorists such as Sam McKegney, Keavy Martin, and Niigaanwewidam Sinclair. The volume is organized into five subject areas: Position, the necessity of considering where you come from and who you are; Imagining Beyond Images and Myths, a history and critique of circulating images of Indigenousness; Debating Indigenous Literary Approaches; Contemporary Concerns, a consideration of relevant issues; and finally Classroom Considerations, pedagogical concerns particular to the field. Each section is introduced by an essay that orients the reader and provides ideological context. While anthologies of literary criticism have focused on specific issues related to this burgeoning field, this volume is the first to offer comprehensive perspectives on the subject.
Publication Date: 2016-07-15
The Bungling Host by The Bungling Host motif appears in countless indigenous cultures in North America and beyond. In this groundbreaking work Daniel Clément has gathered nearly four hundred North American variants of the story to examine how myths acquire meaning for their indigenous users and explores how seemingly absurd narratives can prove to be a rich source of meaning when understood within the appropriate context. In analyzing the Bungling Host tales, Clément considers not only material culture but also social, economic, and cultural life; Native knowledge of the environment; and the world of plants and animals. Clément's analysis uncovers four operational modes in myth construction and clarifies the relationship between mythology and science. Ultimately he demonstrates how science may have developed out of an operational mode that already existed in the mythological mind.
Publication Date: 2018-08-01
Zoom Meeting Information
Zoom information will be provided closer to the planned meeting: 12:00pm-1:00pm, February 24, 2021. (*NEW DATE*)