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Regeneration through Kinship: Indian "Orphans" Make Home in Works by Linda Hogan and Leslie Marmon Silko
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Communication, English language.
2012 (English)In: American Studies in Scandinavia, ISSN 0044-8060, Vol. 43, no 1, 103-120 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Literary representations of orphanhood immediately activate the question of community through kinship and relation. In simple terms, "orphan" is unthinkable without its opposite family or kin. The language of orphanhood and family has been central to the study of national American literature, but recently indigenous notions of "kinship" have been proposed as key critical tools for examining Native American literature. In readings of Linda Hogan's Solar Storms (1995) and Leslie Marmon Silko's Gardens in the Dunes (1999), I find that attentiveness to kinship focuses inquiry squarely on literary responses to the historical disruption of Native kinship networks, broadly conceived, but also to the state's creation of Indian "orphans" through various forms of child removal. These works employ the motif of the Indian orphan's return to place Native thought and culture in critical relation to Euro-American social, ethical, and environmental practices. While previous scholarship has examined the critiques of Western, colonial cultures in the works of Hogan and Silko, the importance of the orphan figure to these projects has been largely overlooked. The literary orphan, I propose, is a particularly complex site in contemporary Native fiction for narrative interrogations of the limits and possibilities for community.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 43, no 1, 103-120 p.
Keyword [en]
Orphan, Native American Literature, Leslie Marmon Silko, Linda Hogan, Kinship
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-17740ISI: 000303976900007ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84860761457OAI: diva2:579163
Available from: 2012-12-19 Created: 2012-12-19 Last updated: 2014-07-03Bibliographically approved

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