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Choctalking on Other Realities
by LeAnne Howe
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"As LeAnne Howe puts it, "The American Indian adventure stories in Choctalking on Other Realities are three parts memoir, one part tragedy, one part absurdist fiction, and one part 'marvelous realism.'" The stories in this book "form the heart of [Howe's] life's journey, so far," chronicling the contradictions, absurdities, and sometimes tragedies in a life lived crossing cultures and borders. Section one is comprised of three stories about Howe's life in the 1980s working in the bond business for a Wall Street firm. Part of an otherwise all-male group of "guerrilla warfare bond traders," Howe was the only American Indian woman, and (out) democrat, in the company. Section two is about her life in the early 1990s traveling abroad as what she calls an "International Tonto" to places like Jordan, Jerusalem, and Romania, and to Japan, where she served as an American Indian representative during the United Nations' "International Year For The World's Indigenous People." Section three reaches back into Howe's experiences in the 1950s as an "unruly Indian girl" as well as the later evolution of her political consciousness and her activism. The epilogue, "A Tribalography," is a literary discussion of how to read Native and indigenous stories. LeAnne Howe is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation and writes fiction, poetry, screenplays, and creative nonfiction, primarily dealing with American Indian experiences. In 2012 she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas. Her first novel Shell Shaker received an American Book Award. "--
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