Separate Star, A: Selected Writings of Helen Hunt Jackson (California Legacy)

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9781597140744: Separate Star, A: Selected Writings of Helen Hunt Jackson (California Legacy)
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The complex legacy of a pioneer woman writer and advocate for Native American justice

Best known for A Century of Dishonor and Ramona, Helen Hunt Jackson was a widely published writer in the mid-nineteenth century. Her work spanned two decades and ranged from many anonymous pieces of travel writing to poetry, romantic fiction, children's literature, and parenting advice. Along with popular literature, she was also writing and publishing tracts, novels, and articles on the conditions Native Americans were living under after a century of dealing with the U.S. government and American settlers. While the nonfiction A Century of Dishonor, written after extensive research and intrepid travel, brought attention to what was happening to Indians, it was Ramona that captured the public's imagination. In much the same way that Uncle Tom's Cabin exposed the cruelty of slavery, the love story Ramona depicted the plight of southern California's landless Indians and changed the perception of many about the laws and policies of the day.

A Separate Star is shaped by the editor's interest in presenting, through selections not readily found in print today, a portrait of Jackson as a writer whose attitudes and beliefs on an array of subjects influenced her times. Were she around today, it would be easy to imagine Jackson as an activist at the center of domestic and cultural political issues. Her work is still compelling and clearly part of the long road to change that we are on today.

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About the Author:

Michelle Burnham teaches American and Native American literature at Santa Clara University. She is the author most recently of Folded Selves: Colonial New England Writing in the World System (2007) and the editor of a recent reprint edition of the anonymous 1767 novel The Female American (2001).

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