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126 Western American Literature in “Incident at a Hamburger Stand: Iowa City”; and it takes her into the movement of indigenous people around the earth. The introduction Rose has written for this volume briefly outlines, through mention of the inclusions, this search for identity—not merely as Hopi or Miwok or English or Prussian but as a human being in her particular circumstance. Familiar poems from earliervolumes such asLongDivision: A TribalHistory, Lost Copper, Halfbreed Chronicles, and Going to War with All My Relations (not against but with) enrich the present volume. Existence in this world is a struggle (an almost victorious struggle) to move from fragmentation to heal­ ing wholeness. Love and beauty almost overcome the stress of thejourney, as in the final section from NowPoofSheIs Gone, where one finds even more hints of almost mythic survival of the individual as in the poems “Do You See Her Alone on the Mountain” and “Coarsegold Morning.” Even in these later poems, however, one finds forest fires, “angry moths,” and the woman in “Forty, Trembling”who ... is not of this world and no one rides to the rescue. Bone Dance is a good sampler because it may entice the reader to enjoy other poems that kept this present sparse selection company in earlier vol­ umes. JAMES R. SAUCERMAN NorthwestMissouri State University Ravensong. By Lee Maracle. (Vancouver: Press Gang Publishers, 1993. 199 pages, $12.95.) When a flu epidemic hits her native village on British Columbia’s west coast, 17-year-old Stacey risks her coveted dream of attending university to stay in the village and nurse the ill. For days and nights on end, she drips fluids, one drop at a time, into the mouths of the sick, even though across the bridge in white town “they have intravenous do the trick for them.” This is not the first epidemic to devastate her people: 1840—smallpox; 1885—diphtheria; 1905—measles; 1918—influenza; 1920 to 1940—influenza. Stacey mourns the children that died and those that might have been. “She imagined the faces of the babies these children might have had . . . the greatgreat -grandchildren the village should still have.” What frightens and perplexes Stacey, however, is neighboring white town’s casual indifference to the Natives’ suffering. “Death does not count in Reviews 127 white town the same as it does in the village.” For Stacey, the loss of each villager “became a missing piece of the circle which could never be replaced.” The bridge that separates white town and the Native village in Maracle’s passionate novel symbolizes not only the gulf between cultures, but Stacey’s painful struggle to place herself somewhere in the two worlds, somewhere between her ravenous desire to understand the differences between white and Indian and her own people’s complacency, expressed in an elder’s placating refrain, “No use thinking about.” Superficially, Ravensong, set in the early 1950s, is a predictable diatribe on white insensitivity toward Natives. Maracle’s attempt to explore Native spiritu­ ality by personifying the mythological trickster Raven as the perpetrator of a catastrophic plot to “finallywake the people up, drive them to white town to fix the mess over there,”is awkward and unconvincing. Where Ravensong succeeds and its power resonates long after the story ends is in its ensemble of absorbing women characters. Through tears, laugh­ ter, grief and pain, these women grasp at the fraying strands of their disinte­ grating community. They blame their losses on the traditional culprit, “too much Raven.” But, in the end, only Stacey understands that the Native’s demise falls instead on “not enough Raven.” JEAN M. EMERY Phoenix, Arizona 30 Miles from J-Town. By Amy Uyematsu. (Brownsville, Oregon: Story Line Press, 1992. 104 pages, $11.95.) “By the third generation,”Amy Uyematsu writes, “I was sacrificed/saved from broken tongues” (“The Shaping of Pine”). The poems in this first collec­ tion, winner of the 1992 Nicholas Roerich Prize, explore, in talkstory and quiet lines of metric regularity, the sacrifice of the Japanese language to assimila­ tion, the recovery of some of those words, and the alienation Uyematsu feels as a sansei (third generation American) growing up near, but not in LosAngeles’s Japan-town...


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pp. 126-127
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