ZITKALA-SA [Red Bird] aka (Gertrude Bonnin) was for decades a writer, activist, historian, musician, orator, and much more. Born in 1876, she was, like many, caught between the world of the U.S Americans and her native culture. She was born and lived in a tipi for twelve years and endured the boarding schools designed to assimilate natives to the dominant culture. Her life was one of travel, of charity and social projects, or teaching and of learning. Her writing reflects an intimate knowledge of Native American culture, and of the white man's culture as well. This work succeeds not only as an accurate account of her world, but also as a literary gem.
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American Indian Stories, first published in 1921, is a collection of childhood stories, allegorical fiction, and an essay. One of the most famous Sioux writers and activists of the modern era, Zitkala-Sa (Gertrude Bonnin) recalled legends and tales from oral tradition and used experiences from her life and community to educate others about the Yankton Sioux. Determined, controversial, and visionary, she creatively worked to bridge the gap between her own culture and mainstream American society and advocated for Native rights on a national level. Susan Rose Dominguez provides a new introduction to this edition.About the Author:
Zitkala-Sa (1876–1938) is also the author of Old Indian Legends and Dreams and Thunder: Stories, Poems, and “The Sun Dance Opera,” both published by the University of Nebraska Press. Susan Rose Dominguez is an affiliate scholar of history at Oberlin College.
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