The character also had an alcoholic father:
Painter crossed and settled in the seat as Kara shifted to one of the chairs and sat down. "Not a problem. I don't drink, myself."
"AA?" she asked.
"Personal preference," he said with a deep frown. It seemed the stereotype of the drunken Indian persisted even in Britain--not that it didn't have some truth. His own father had found more solace within a bottle of Jack Daniels than in family and friends.
I think I'd also mentioned the evil Native priestess character in "Amazonia." This might be a problem with stereotypes of "exotic" Native villains, if there weren't 4 or 5 nuanced Yanomamo/Native etc. characters also featured prominently in the novel. "Amazonia" also includes some discussion of cultural differences with Yanomamo and related tribes with a view of understanding rather than judgment, a view you would probably call "multi-cultural."
Painter is the half Pequot/half white detective mentioned before. He supposedly looks Native because of his Pequot ancestry. But this is unrealistic. With all the intermarrying the Pequots have done, I doubt any of them looks like a classic Native. Whether they have African American blood or not, I think most of them look like a mix of races.
Kara's assumption about Painter is also suspect. I don't drink myself, and no one has ever assumed I was in Alcoholics Anonymous. Nor would I assume that an Indian who doesn't drink must be a recovering alcoholic. That would be stereotypical.
Whatever I'm thinking, I wouldn't blurt out "AA?" as my first guess. That would be like interviewing Bush about invading Iraq and asking, "Why did you do it? Are you a moron?" It may be true, but it's rude to say so without a proper foundation.
For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Books.
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