This essay illuminates multiple complexities in collaborative life writing through an analysis of In the Land of the Grasshopper Song: Two Women in the Klamath River Indian Country in 1908–09 by Mary Ellicott Arnold and Mabel Reed, a book in the form of a journal recounting colonial contact between whites and indigenous people prior to the 1910 United States appropriation of native lands in what is now far northwestern California. Arnold and Reed function as amateur ethnographers, narrating a complex tale of encounters and negotiations, but they leave out those that had to do with their lesbian relationship. Thus, their overt collaboration masked that of a more private kind. Watson examines the very complicated speaking position(s) of Arnold and Reed in relation to the native population, their white cohort, and each other, illuminating the various modes of collaboration that emerge from this multiply voiced text: co-optation, coercion, collusion, cooperation, collectivity, compromise, and camoufl age.


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pp. 397-428
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