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Bloodlines: Odyssey of a Native Daughter by…

Bloodlines: Odyssey of a Native Daughter

by Janet Campbell Hale

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From The Critics
Publishers Weekly
In these seven loosely linked autobiographical essays, novelist Hale ( The Jailing of Cecilia Capture ) reflects on her family, her personal struggles and her Native American heritage. After two slight pieces, she poignantly and bitterly recalls her childhood, ``my mother and myself on the run'' in Idaho, Washington and Oregon, fleeing Hale's drunken father. Her mother, whose own education was cut short, was ``an absolute master of verbal abuse,'' and Hale still grapples with the legacy of that troubled relationship. The author recalls her own difficulties with marriage and poverty, then describes how, seeking a college scholarship, she reconnected with her family's background on the Coeur d'Alene reservation. An essay on her white great-great-grandfather, John McLoughlin, and a visit to her father's grave also prompt musings on her Indian identity. But Hale's fragmentary style vitiates her message, and she does not discuss what might be the most interesting aspect of her life: her place in ``an intertribal urban Indian community.'' Author tour. (June)

Library Journal
In this collection of bittersweet autobiographical essays, Hale reveals and examines her often conflicting experiences as the daughter of a Native American father and mixed-blood mother, a single parent, and a fiction writer. Disregarded by her siblings, who are ten to 14 years older than she, and mistreated by her mother, Hale provides a portrait of dysfunctionalism perpetuating itself. In her first nonfiction work (following her novel, The Jailing of Cecelia Capture , Univ. of New Mexico Pr., 1987), Hale attempts to identify and grasp the causes of her unease as she delves into her personal and genealogical history. A sense of the disconnectedness that plagues Hale in terms of her family pervades the text, as does a clash of causes and effects. Hale presents snippets of interesting Native American history throughout this work, which must have been both painful and therapeutic to write. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-- Jeris Cassel, Rutgers Univ. Libs., New Brunswick, N.J.
  goneal | Jul 17, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0816518440, Paperback)

These autobiographical essays by a member of the Coeur d'Alene tribe interweave personal experiences with striking portraits of relatives, both living and dead, to form a rich tapestry of history, storytelling, and remembrance. Hale's is a story of intense and resonant beauty. Breathtaking in its range and authority, Bloodlines is an important addition to the literature of women of color.

"In this set of eight brooding but brave essays, she confronts the painful facts not only of her life but of the tragically difficult lives of several generations of her female relatives. . . . As Hale delves into her past, she perceives the deep roots of her struggle for survival and achievement, and recognizes the unseverable bond that connects her to her culture." —Booklist

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:30 -0400)

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