In the past few days, more than one friend has asked me whether I'd consider writing a YA novel set on a reservation, possibly linked to the recent real-life shooting tragedy. It's an interesting question, but the truth is that I wouldn't be the best person to do such a book.
I'm personally familiar with the urban and tribal-town structures, not reservation life, and while there are some universalities to the indigeneous experience, it's largely more specific than most folks probably realize. Reservations, each and as a whole, have their own culture.
While I definitely do believe that with respect and thorough research, it's possible to write crossculturally (and do so myself with increasing frequency), I also think that to do justice to such a setting, I would have to live in such a community myself for some time, take time to see if I had the voice and perspective right, and then consult with people there for their insights and permission.
I don't see that happening, at least in my near future. My muse is leaning heavily toward comedy and fantasy (gothic and festive) these days. But I strongly agree that there is a need for quality fiction and non-fiction about reservation life. See Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers.
Cynsational News & Links
Anne Bustard debuts her author Web site. Anne's books include T Is For Texas and Buddy: The Buddy Holly story. She's also a university professor of education and, not surprisingly, offers top-notch curriculum support for her books as well as a list of her favorite picture book biographies. If you haven't already, read my recent online interview with Anne.
Linda Joy Singleton debuts her new blog, talking most recently about Dancing In Red Shoes Will Kill You by Dorian Cirrone (HarperCollins, 2005), which is in my to-be-read stack. You can read from chapter one online.
Congratulations to pal Shutta Crum, who along with authors Doreen Rapport, Doreen Cronin, Susie Crummel, Pam Munoz Ryan, and Miss USA 2004 (who apparently has written a book), was honored at the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn. Shutta is the author of Bravest Of The Brave, illustrated by Tim Bowers (Knopf, 2005).
I received a query this week about where to obtain in books in languages other than English. This is a frequent question, and, in case anyone's interested, I usually recommend the Magic Tree Bookstore in Oak Park, Illinois.