Tim Truman: Remembering SCOUT
TT: Well, a little of both, I guess. Mainly from research, though. My main approach was not to take a patronizing view of Native American culture or history. My great grandmother, Belle Truman, was a full-blooded Cherokee, but except for some things that I remember my grandfather doing with my sisters, cousins, and me when we were kids we had no real upbringing in Cherokee culture. As strange as it might sound, I think the approach that I took with Scout stems from 1.) I'm a hillbilly kid from the Appalachians; and 2.) my family were southern Baptists.
Growing up, I got real sensitive to the way that movies and television would portray both Appalachian people and their culture and religions. It was never right. It was always some New Yorker or Californian's view uninformed, generalized, stereotyped view of my culture. So when I decided to write about Apache culture I remembered how offended I'd been by most portrayals of the culture that I'd come from and took the task quite seriously.
Perhaps the most interesting touch was Scout's sexual relationship with Israeli soldier Rosa Winter. As noted recently, Indian characters rarely if ever get love scenes.