December 01, 2007

Native writers on CD

'Pulling Down the Clouds' unites many authors' voices

Review"Pulling Down the Clouds: Contemporary Native Writers Read Their Work" is an anthology of works by various writers read by the authors themselves. It pulls together a portion of the Native Writers Series undertaken for nine nights during each of the last four years at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Tanya Thrasher, Cherokee and editor of the CD project, said that after four years of invitations to writers to read their work, "we have this amazing collection of audio recordings ... just the magnitude, just the power of every author and the talent they have."

The result is a satisfying mixture of familiar universal stories with personal insights, a smattering of humor and even one song. The stories are told through the eyes of the authors or through their characters, like Momaday's empathetic envisioning of Sacagawea's thoughts as she traveled with Lewis and Clark; or the examination by Louise Erdrich, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, of the wisdom told by wolves to a once-suicidal old man from her Anishinaabe heritage: "'We live because we live.' ... The wolves accept the life they are given."
Comment:  For more on the subject of Native writing, see The Best Indian Books.

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