September 11, 2006

Big money for Native book

Newsweek Interview:  Charles Frazier AuthorIn "Thirteen Moons," Frazier returns with a mesmerizing tale about a white man fighting to save a Cherokee tribe's home and who for days, spoke nothing but Cherokee. By April 2002, Frazier had already done some legwork on the book, but knew what he'd written was too woolly to show prospective publishers. Instead, he wrote a one-page proposal for "Thirteen Moons" before coffee one morning. Random House paid $8.25 million for it, and producer Scott Rudin ponied up $3 million for the movie rights.

Frazier tells Newsweek about a trip to Cherokee, North Carolina, "I came over a couple of weeks ago to meet with Chief Hicks and to say, 'I grew up here. I grew up on land that had been your land. I remember finding arrowheads in cornfields as a kid.' What I was interested in was not telling their story, but the story of this piece of country, that transition from their people to my people. I just said, 'I hope this book will be seen as the work of a good neighbor'." Frazier later had a meeting about a translation project he's funding to render portions of the novel into Cherokee, Part of an initiative to keep the language alive.


Anonymous said...

I take it that you do not like Frazier (along with any author whose works are widely accepted). You did accuse him of theft along the way. What did he steal?

Rob said...

Well, I've written about Indian people in my comics even though I'm not Native. So I don't agree with those who say it's "exploitation" and it shouldn't be done.

On the other hand, I proceed with great caution, voluminous research, and the help of Native advisers. And I never claim my work is anything other than what it is.

Anonymous said...

The terms "theft" and "stealing" just don't apply the best here to situations where at worst someone is misrepresenting something. You can't steal history, unless maybe you have Doc Brown's wonderful Delorean.

Rob said...

Frazier and I are both writing fiction about Indians. You could argue that this is a form of exploitation or "stealing." Assuming we make money from it, you could say we're profiting from the pain of others.