Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cynthia Leitich Smith's ETERNAL

Cynthia Leitich Smith's new book, Eternal, was launched yesterday. I read a copy a few weeks ago. It is a page-turner about vampires and angels and... It's quite a ride, from Austin to Chicago. I'll leave it there for you to read. If you're a fan of gothic fiction, take a look at Eternal.

As you may know, my blog is about children's books about American Indians. That's what most of the content is about.

However! I think it important that children and teens know that Native people write stories, and that not all of their stories are about Native people. Cynthia's range of books is a good case in point. If you read her YA novel, Rain Is Not My Indian Name, read her vampire novels, too. Her first one is Tantalize, Eternal is the second, and a third one is in the works.

In Tribal Secrets, Robert Warrior writes about American Indian literature and criticism. He says "producers of American Indian literature continue to push the boundaries of creativity by bringing European vampires to Navajo country..." Warrior notes that such a book "does not fit into standard definitions of Indian writing..." but he goes on to say that the increase in such books "seems more than enough justification for some fundamental reworking of scholarly understandings of American Indian literature, culture, and experience."

In essence, it is important that we be open to what is being written by Native writers. Don't pigeon hole them or their writing. Expand your expectations of what Native writers write about.

Read Native writers, whether their stories are about Native life, or vampires.

So! Eternal. Click on over to Cynsations where you'll learn a lot about the book. There's more at Smith's website including a very cool book trailer that perfectly captures the mood of the book.

1 comment:

Amy said...

It is interesting that you mentioned how it is important for students not only to know about Native American authors and the stories about their people, but also that they write about other things besides their heritage. That is a good point.