March 24, 2008

"Folklore" should be fiction

McDermott made up the "Dance of Life" in ARROW TO THE SUNSharing some new (to me) information about McDermott's deeply flawed award-winning book, Arrow to the Sun.

On page 27 of Gerald McDermott and YOU, written by Jon Stott, published in 2004, Stott says:

"Although the Dance of Life depicted on the final page of the story is McDermott's own creation, it is true in spirit to the agrarian culture he depicts in the story."
Given its made-up and erroneous information, this book is best shelved in the fantasy section. It certainly does not belong in the non-fiction section! And it certainly does not merit it's Library of Congress subject line "Pueblo Indians--folklore."
(Excerpted from Debbie Reese's American Indians in Children's Literature, 3/18/08.)

Comment:  I haven't read the book, but I did see the video--many years ago. At the time I liked it. The pop-style art (which you can see on the cover) seems faithful to the spirit of the culture, if not the letter.

Perhaps the video omitted some of the offensive material in the book. Or perhaps my sensibilities have evolved since then. I should read the book and watch the video again.

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Books.

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