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Sister Nations

Sister Nations

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Native American Women Writers on Community

Edited by Heid E. Erdrich, Edited by Laura Tohe, Foreword by Winona LaDuke

Minnesota Historical Society Press (April 1, 2002)

A captivating anthology of fiction, prose, and poetry. Contributors include Louise Erdrich, Joy Harjo, and Diane Glancy.


This anthology of fiction, prose, and poetry celebrates the rich diversity of writing by Native American women today. Editors Heid E. Erdrich and Laura Tohe have gathered stories from across the nation that celebrate, record, and explore Native American women's roles in community. The result is a rich tapestry that contains work by established writers along with emerging and first-time authors. Contributors include Louise Erdrich, Joy Harjo, Diane Glancy, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Allison Hedge Coke, LeAnne Howe, Roberta Hill, Kim Blaeser, Linda LeGarde Grover, with a foreword by Winona LaDuke.

The writings included range from the personal to the political, from notions of romantic love to the realities of marriage, from finding a place in modern society to incorporating tradition in daily life. Whether it's Louise Erdrich's heartbreaking story "The Shawl," Diane Glancy's tightly distilled poems, or Joy Harjo's elegant and fanciful "How to Get to Planet Venus," all of these works explore both what it means to be a woman and how those realities are complicated by the Native American experience.

The editors have divided these lively and thought-provoking pieces into four sections: "Changing Women," which deals with the stages of a woman's life, awareness of female ancestors, and women's traditions of healing and making art; "Strong Hearts," which shows Indian women enduring with love, defending with fierce judgment, and reaching out across history to protect the people; "New Age Pocahontas," which reveals the humor and complexity of stereotypes and simplified images of Native American women; and "In the Arms of the Skies," which explores the ways in which typical notions about romantic love and marriage are put to the test.

Sister Nations also includes full biographies of all the contributors, commentary from many of the authors on their work, and a bibliography of relevant publications.

Author information

Heid E. Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibway. Her collection of poetry Fishing for Myth won a Minnesota Voices Award. Erdrich teaches Native American literature and creative writing at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. She is also the author of Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories, and Recipes from the Upper Midwest.

Laura Tohe was born and raised on the Navajo reservation. Her book No Parole Today received the Poetry of the Year Award from the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. She is an associate professor of English at Arizona State University.

  • This title is also available at your favorite e-book vendor.
  • 252 pages
  • 5.625 x 8.5 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873514286

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