We want to take this opportunity to offer our most sincere thanks to Jane Hafen for her work as SAIL’s book review editor. Jane has resigned from the position after seven years of doing the rewarding though, we imagine, sometimes tedious job. Please thank Jane, too, the next time that you see her for doing one of those tasks of such critical importance to our field. Book reviews are part of the academic currency in which we deal. They are often the first publication we have as graduate students, and they go on the vitas that we send to prospective employers, submit to department committees deciding merit raises, and place in promotion and tenure dossiers. Jane devoted considerable time and effort to this section of the journal. By doing so she helped to sustain the intellectual conversation by bringing you the voices of a broad range of scholars. Thank you, Jane, on behalf of all SAIL readers.
This issue of SAIL offers new perspectives on two familiar authors, Leslie Marmon Silko and Wendy Rose. Kathleen Godfrey’s interview with Rose coincides with the recent publication of Rose’s new book of poems, Itch Like Crazy, in the Sun Tracks Series at the University of Arizona Press. Rose reflects in the interview on such topics as identity, hybridity, and the search for family. Itch Like Crazy has on its front cover praise from Silko, whose novel Almanac of the Dead is the subject of Miriam Schacht’s essay. Hemispheric in scope but rooted at the Laguna Pueblo, the novel models a mobile Indigeneity. This mobility is, Schacht argues, crucial to the maintenance of Indigenous nations. [End Page ix]
We are also fortunate to have Emilio del Valle Escalante introduce many SAIL readers to Quechua author Gregorio Condori Mamani. He reads Condori Mamani’s prison testimonio from the mid-1970s as an inspiring challenge to Western modernity and colonialism: “I argue,” Escalante writes, “that Condori Mamani’s stories represent an ‘every day form of resistance’ where we identify a politics of memory that challenges the triumphalism and historical hegemonic discourses of Peruvian society in order to reclaim, re-conceptualize, and articulate an alternative Andean worldview that proposes decolonization.” In the essay, Escalante focuses primarily on the political import of the “fictive” or “mythic” stories that Condori Mamani heard in prison and relates to his readers. In the next piece, Craig Womack takes as his focus Toni Morrison’s representation of American Indians in Paradise. In dialogue with the scholarship on Morrison’s efforts to document the intersections of African American and Native American peoples and histories, Womack considers the insubstantial historical American Indian presence in Paradise and their absence from the narrative present. Where exactly, Womack wonders, are the Indians in Paradise?
Calls for papers have been released for two conferences that many ASAIL members and SAIL readers attend: NALS and NAISA. Please remember that ASAIL now has an Emerging Scholars Professional Development Fellowship that provides travel assistance for graduate students and advanced undergraduates. The applications must be filed prior to the conference. See the News and Announcements section at the back of this issue for more details.
Our thanks, too, to Kirby Brown, who served the journal as editorial assistant for the last year, and to Kyle Wyatt, who continues in that role. We have a deep and abiding appreciation for all their efforts. Finally, please join us in welcoming Bryan Russell as our new editorial assistant. [End Page x]