Martin Cruz Smith (Gorky Park, 1981) is rarely acknowledged as a native American author concerned with the global implications of colonialism, race, and native sovereignty. His virtually unknown first novel, however, The Indians Won (1970), imagines an alternative America in which an Indian Nation established in the 1870s stretches from Canada to Mexico. The novel explores how nation building occurs and what a native nation peopled by modern native citizens might look like. It maps colonization and forms of native resistance, factual and imagined, through a process of trickster mimesis—subversive and deliberate self-reflexivity that anticipates the playful irony of Gerald Vizenor’s trickster hermeneutics, in which native peoples continuously engage in cultural play as a means of resistance, reinvention, and affirmation of presence over absence. The Indians Won transforms Western notions of nationhood, citizenship, and sovereignty into a distinctively native form of nationalism.


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pp. 999-1020
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