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BOOK REVIEWS 3 5 3 the racial and cultural dynamics of Native American experience. Where Allen, Warrior, and Womack affirm the primacy of tribal identity in the reading and understanding of American Indian literatures, Pulitano disputes their “tribalcentric” approach, suggesting that any Native critical theory predicated upon a tribal or indigenous position is “hopeless,” “separatist,” and “culturally totalitarian.” Conversely, the works of Sarris, Owens, and Vizenor invite the application of non-Native perspectives. The “strategies of hybridization and cultural syncretism,” according to Pulitano, are occurring in Native American literature (190). Native authors, especially Vizenor, recognize and embrace this poststructural and postcolonial process, allowing for the bridging of cultures and crosscultural reading and writing of texts. On reading its title, Toward a Native American Critical Theory, one expects to learn where or what these critical trends are moving toward. Instead of providing a discussion on the possibilities and directions of a Native-generated critical theory, Pulitano instead prescribes its parameters. The Bootlegger's Other Daughter. By Mary Cimarolli. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2003. 168 pages, $15.95. Reviewed by Angie Kritenbrink Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Seattle, Washington Homemade berry shortcake with fresh cream. Socializing and testifying under a crowded revival tent. Closing school for the summer with nothing to look forward to but working the fields and reading the same celebrity magazines over and over. Neighbors who inexplicably shoot at folks over minor points of contention. If these are your childhood memories, or those of your parents and grandparents, maybe your family grew up in East Texas in the Great Depression as Mary Cimarolli (née Mary Lou Gammill) and her brother and sister did. Even if you didn’t, her memoir, The Bootlegger’s Other Daughter, is sure to entertain. Cimarolli touches on all the major issues in the South at that time, but the most entertaining aspect of this collection of memories is when she, in her childhood voice, describes the day-to-day happenings around the farms and small towns where she grew up. For those who didn’t grow up hearing such stories, it is an enlightening tale as well, for it is easy to forget how far modern­ ization and progress took us in the last century. As simple as a description of a farmhouse without air conditioning can be, it is a sharp reminder to those of us who have been without electricity for even a few days after a mid-summer, late-century Great Plains tornado. The amount of work they do around the farm is striking as well, especially for the women, who oftentimes would spend hours in front of a hot stove on a hot day so the men and children in the fields would have a hot lunch. Not that the men didn’t do more than their share. Mary Lou’s father spends much 3 5 4 W e s t e r n A m e r i c a n L i t e r a t u r e F a l l 2 0 0 6 time away from home pursuing various business interests, bootlegging being, if not the most lucrative, certainly the most dangerous. Any possible criticisms about the book are minimal. The narration shifts back and forth from past to present tense when she shifts from her childhood voice to another, presumably adult, voice that gives background information and facts that have been determined only through research she or her family members have compiled as adults. Her childhood voice is often successful but sometimes leaves Cimarolli’s narration without the possible reflection that could lend perspective and distinctiveness to her memories. When she does reflect as an adult, it is mostly to speculate about family mysteries for which she has no real answers and sometimes seemingly no real evidence for her speculation . The narration has a certain sitting-around-the-family-table quality, which could be either gratifying or anachronistic depending on the audience and how many times they themselves have heard similar stories. But these can be forgiven as one forgives an older relative when she is recollecting her youth. The warmth and intimacy of the narration easily make up for any...


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pp. 353-354
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