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368 Western American Literature arrival of horses, walks beside Black Elk at Greasy Grass, looks in on Amatchi (grandmother) in 1920 as she milks her cows and mends her son’s shirt, and eavesdrops on a playfully sarcastic chat between Mrs. Whitman and Mrs. Spalding as they plan their honeymoons (“‘Let’s do something really new and grand,’Mrs. Whitman smiles, ‘Let’sbe the first white women to cross Wyoming and the Rocky Mountains to reach the Pacific Coast.’”). Galeano watches 1,175 elk die at the National Elk Refuge in 1928, and in one of his resurrections, is discovered by archeologists in 2075 and named the Sunset Man, a pure specimen of the late twentieth century. Crossingis not a novel and it is not essays. It is a collection of imaginative, poignant, and entertaining vignettes that encourage the reader to listen to history, to listen so well that those people long gone take on life once again and offer, once again, what we may have forgotten to learn the first time around. If the pain of reading the book is in its depiction ofa “world that for all but a very few . . . has been an eternal nightmare,”the book’s true power lies in its persistent spirit of hope. ONA SIPORIN Utah State University How I Learned. By Gloria Frym. (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 1992. 131 pages, $11.85.) These stories and my reaction to them are like an exhibition of Duane Hanson’s super realistic sculpture. In the museum gallery I thought, “People aren’t this bored, I’m not sure I like this, why doesn’t he try something else?” Later, looking at other museum-goers in repose I realized that we were all gazing lifelessly, faces slack, eyes unfocused. We looked like the sculpture: autobody filler, paint and real hair. Gloria Frym uses tattoos, noise, silence, dust, disappointment, tv guides, ennui, and music to create people I don’t want to meet or be. She might say, “People are like my stories,” then, to make me feel better, “People you don’t know are like my stories.”But, like the sculptures, there are feelings and images that made me pause or smile: From “Sadie Turns Seventy”: “Like the moon, Sadie could see it clearly from afar. She had watched LasVegas, and she knew it, she studied it from the magazines and the television and it lit up the horizon of her years.” And like the sculpture exhibition, the stories, in the end, add up to something, to some insight, that I was glad to have. CATHRYN CLARK Quebec, Canada ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
p. 368
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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