By Karen L. Kilcup
The Memoirs exhibit a desirable and complicated 19th-century woman—an artist, song instructor, storyteller, accomplice slave proprietor, Washington socialite, spouse of a white railroad government, widow, and mom of the 1st local American U.S. Senator, Robert L. Owen, Jr. Her writings interpret the background of the tribe and describe the cultural upheaval of the Cherokees relocating west. They additionally provide a glimpse into antebellum, Civil struggle, and Reconstruction American life.
This version offers a wealth of history info together with a biographical preface, chronology of Owen's existence, family tree, and textual footnotes. moreover, an introductory essay areas the Memoirs within the context of Owen's predecessors and contemporaries, together with Cherokee cultural and literary culture, the bigger Indian historical/literary context, and women's writing of the past due nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
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Additional info for A Cherokee Woman's America: Memoirs of Narcissa Owen, 1831-1907
This narrative again creates the illusion of a conversation shared among women, while it consciously contributes to the continuity of Cherokee tradition. At the same time, it encodes a position of social authority, deploying an elite vocabulary (“rubifacient”) to convey medical knowledge. Like Ward and Keys, Owen situates herself as both intimate and cultural translator, friend and authority; drawing from women’s roles in Cherokee oral tradition, she performs a powerful cultural critique through the shape and rhetoric as well as the substance of her text.
S. life. S.
And James W. Parins offer a number of useful generalizations about southeastern Native American writing between 1875 and 1935 that provide touchstones for discussion. For example, they indicate the diversity of genres that this writing employed, including “non-fiction in the form of essays, letters, addresses, historical narratives, and biography; fiction in the form of short stories, novels, and dialect humor; poetry; and drama”; and they contend that the principal themes were “usually—not always—distinctly Indian.
A Cherokee Woman's America: Memoirs of Narcissa Owen, 1831-1907 by Karen L. Kilcup