Pushing the Bear (Harvest Book)

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9780156005449: Pushing the Bear (Harvest Book)

In 1838, 13,000 Cherokee were forced from their land to walk 900 miles along the "Trail of Tears" to present-day Oklahoma. This "illuminating and challenging chronicle of loss, despair, and regeneration" ("Washington Post Book World") brings this ordeal to life via the haunting voices of a young Cherokee woman, her husband, and a host of others--Cherokee and white, soldier and missionary, parent and child, the living and the dead Author appearances.

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About the Author:

Diane Glancy is a professor of English at Macalester College. She is the author of The Cold-and-Hunger Dance and won the North American Indian Prose Award for Claiming Breath (Nebraska 1992).

Review:

Poet, dramatist, short-story writer and essayist Glancy (winner of an American Book Award for Claiming Breath) turns her talents to the novel, recreating in this bone-true tale the sorrow, struggle and betrayal suffered by the Cherokee along the Trail of Tears. In the winter of 1838-39, 13,000 Cherokee were forced to walk the Trail of Tears from North Carolina toward the "new territory" of present-day Oklahoma. Following the Native American belief that many voices are needed to tell a story, Glancy employs a multitude of narrators. There are the voices of Cherokee of all ages and clans, of white soldiers and preachers, and snatches from actual historical records. The central narrator, Maritole, emerges to tell her personal story of "pushing the bear," a dark heavy burden of anger, impending madness, physical distress and, above all, doubt in herself and her heritage as she perseveres in the grueling walk. Maritole's shaky relationship with her husband, and the deaths of her baby and parents, push her into a relationship with a white soldier, Sergeant Williams. Ultimately, however, he can't fathom the Cherokees' mystic, symbiotic relationships with the land and with each other. At times, the novel proceeds as slowly as the march itself, but it rewards the reader with a visceral, honest presentation of the Cherokee conception of story as the indestructible chain linking people, earth and ancestry?a link that becomes, if not unmitigated salvation, then certainly a salve to the spirit. (Publishers Weekly )

First novelist Glancy (Claiming Breath, LJ 3/92) prefaces her stunning narrative with a stark statement of fact: "From November 1838 to March 1839 some 11,000 to 13,000 Cherokee walked 900 miles in bitter cold from the southeast to Indian Territory. One fourth died or disappeared along the way." Drawing on these statistics and other surviving documentation, the author imaginatively re-creates a nearly unimaginable experience: the forced removal of the Cherokee peoples from their homes in four Southern states. The story is told in many voices, principally those of the uprooted-Native men and women, conjurers, Christians, politicians, leaders, and rebels?but also heard are the white soldiers, settlers, evangelists, sympathizers, oppressors, and opportunists who witnessed their passage to what is now Oklahoma. The fictional testimony creates a graphic and compelling mosaic of human tragedy. Highly recommended. (Library Journal - Starr E. Smith, Marymount Univ. Lib., Arlington, Va. )

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Book Description Mariner Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 256 pages. Dimensions: 7.9in. x 5.3in. x 0.6in.In a novel that retains the complexity, immediacy, and indirection of a poem, Glancy brings to life the Cherokees 900-mile forced removal to Oklahoma in 1838 and gives us a powerful witness to one of the most shameful episodes in american history (Los Angeles Times). This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780156005449

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