Friday, November 14, 2008

Cynthia Leitich Smith interviews Drew Hayden Taylor

Click on over to Cynsations to read Cynthia's interview of Drew Hayden Taylor. He wrote a young adult novel that I came across last March. I've yet to blog it, but do recommend it, especially for fans of vampire stories. His novel is called The Night Wanderer.

In the interview, he says:
"...I took a European legend and indigenized it.

Simply put, its the story about an Ojibway man who, 350 years ago, made his way to Europe and was bitten by a vampire. He spent all those years wandering Europe, feeling homesick but unwilling to return as the monster he'd become. But finally, unable to stop himself, he makes his way back to where his village once was in Canada, and it's now a First Nations community. He takes up residency at a bed-and-breakfast, in the basement apartment. In that same house is a sixteen-year-old girl, Tiffany, who is having problems with her white boyfriend, father, and herself. Eventually, both their lives intertwine, and things happen!"
He indigenized a European legend. That word, indigenize, has been coming into greater use in recent years. I've written an article called "Indigenizing Children's Literature." Published this month in the electronic journal called Journal of Language and Literacy, the abstract reads:

In this article the author situates the analysis of two popular children’s books in theoretical frameworks emerging from American Indian Studies. Using a new historicist lens, she discusses Anne Rockwell’s (1999) Thanksgiving Day and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s (1935/1971) Little House on the Prairie and suggests that these books function as obstacles for the understanding of the Other in American and global society.
I welcome your critique of the article, and suggest you read Drew's novel. If you want to learn more about him, visit his website.

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