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Reviews 375 mute except for poems he hurriedly composes on a child’s magic writing pad—LaSalle is at his best. Interestingly, Stath appeared as a character in one of LaSalle’s stories in his first book. Stath (and Willington’s response to him) is a more suggestive figure for the conflicting needs of contemporary life than all those Sun Belt images. The strange dreams that LaSalle handles best are evoked in Sath’s last communication with Willington, a verse on the magic slate: STATH AND WILLINGTON SIT QUIET IN THE SANDSTORM. THEY COULD SIT LIKE THAT FOREVER AND EVER, IN THE CAR IN THE DESERT. Peter LaSalle is a good writer who will write better books, but Strange Sunlight is still worth reading for those moments in which LaSalle is at his best. ALLEN WEIR Florida International University The Jailing of Cecelia Capture. By Janet Campbell Hale. (New York: Random House, 1985. $15.95.) In this, her second novel, Hale, a member of the Coeur d’Alene tribe, illuminates the world of the mixed-blood Indian woman with compassion and skill, journeying in the thoughts of her protagonist from the jail cell in Berkeley where the novel begins, back to the Idaho reservation where she grew up and down again to San Francisco and the University of California at Berkeley where she is studying for a law degree. Cecelia Capture is in jail for drunk driving and welfare fraud, the latter charge stemming from a time yearsbefore when without informing the welfare board, she had taken a part-time job as a tutor to support herself and her infant daughter. In jail, Cecelia Capture is isolated, left alone with her own thoughts and private psychic journey in a kind of vision quest disturbingly appropriate to modern urban Indians. As she remembers the thirty-year journey that has brought her to the jail cell, Cecelia relives her childhood on the Idaho reservation; then memory winds through experiences of running away at sixteen to the flower-child years of San Francisco, a first love who fathers Cecelia’s son and leaves to be killed in Viet Nam, subsequent lovers, a white, upper-class liberal husband and a daughter, law school, and an overwhelming sense of lost roots, lost identity, lost love. Out of this tightly structured flow of association, Hale constructs the clearest, most impressive account yet of the mixed-blood Indian woman’sworld. This isa 1980sstory of a lost generation, expatriates within America whose homes have slipped away in a haze of promises and alcohol. 376 Western American Literature Unlike her contemporaries Allen, Silko, Momaday, Vizenor and Welch, Hale does not rely on American Indian oral tradition as a unifying element. Hale structures her novel, and Cecelia Capture pieces together the fragments of her world without the help of Spider Woman, Coyote or Raven. Unlike protagonists in other novels by Indian writers, Cecelia Capture has no pueblo, no place, no sense of tradition to return to for strength. She alone of major characters in recent Indian novels confronts her displacement and alienation as an isolated individual and demonstrates the possibility for, if not success, at least survival. While at times the prose flattens disturbingly in this second novel, at many more moments it rises in wonderful richness. Cecelia dreams, and in the dream “the snow fell on her, covered her long, long straight black hair, which lay spread out around her, covered her eyelids and then her entire face. Soon she would be buried in snow, would die when her blood turned to ice. That would be all right. That would be the way she always hoped that she would die, like Moses Brokentooth back home. ...” In this novel, Janet Campbell Hale has given us a valuable addition to the panorama of contemporary Indian life in America. LOUIS OWENS University of New Mexico The Cleaving. By William Studebaker. (Lewiston, Idaho: Confluence Press, 1985. 64 pages, $6.95.) The Cleaving, William Studebaker’s second full-length collection of poems, is a departure from his previous works—Everything Goes Without Saying (his first collection) and Trailing the Raven (a chapbook). In this latest collection, Studebaker writes about love as a way of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 375-376
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
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