From the Center of Tradition: Critical Perspectives on Linda Hogan

From the Center of Tradition: Critical Perspectives on Linda Hogan

From the Center of Tradition: Critical Perspectives on Linda Hogan

From the Center of Tradition: Critical Perspectives on Linda Hogan


Linda Hogan, a Chickasaw poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, and activist, is widely considered to be one of the most influential and provocative Native American figures on the contemporary literary landscape. Although her work has been the focus of numerous essays and conference presentations, until now there has not been a collection of critical essays based solely on her work. This collection's ten unpublished essays and one interview with Hogan reflect the most current and productive critical commentary on Linda Hogan's texts. The book presents new perspectives and a deeper understanding of Hogan's writing for scholars and students in American fiction, Native American literature, women's studies, environmental literature, as well as for readers of her novels, non-fiction, and poetry.


They walk inside me. This blood
is a map of the road between us.
I am why they survived.

The world behind them did not close.
All around me are my ancestors,
my unborn children.
I am the tear between them
and both sides live.
—Linda Hogan, “Tear”

“I WANT TO TELL YOU MY STORY, ” CHICKASAW AUTHOR LINDA HOGAN WRITES in her recent book of recollections, The Woman Who Watches Over the World: A Native Memoir. She continues, “This is what Indian people say. And our stories do not begin with us as individuals” (78). Hogan's writing tells the stories of Native peoples on this continent in a way that enables a reader to see the stresses of individual lives encompassed in the broader stories and events of history. She writes from a cultural ecotone, a zone that draws strength from her mixed-blood heritage— Chickasaw and Anglo. Hogan considers her work “traditionally centered, ” however, even though it does not focus only on her Chickasaw traditions. Rather, she seeks to tell the stories of Native people's experiences in the world and to encourage others to view the world—especially the natural world—from the perspective of traditional Native ways of knowing. Hogan's writing is often at the intersection of environmental matters and the historical and ongoing treatment of American Indians, thus linking environmental justice and social justice issues.

Although Linda Hogan earned an M.A. in creative writing from the University of Colorado in 1978, she began her prolific writing career as an adult . . .

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