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THE WITCH OF GIVINGSNAKE AND OTHER STORIES...

THE WITCH OF GIVINGSNAKE AND OTHER STORIES by Robert J. Conley (University of Oklahoma Press: $9.95). The narrator of “Yellow Bird: An Imaginary Autobiography” sets the tone for this impressive anthology when he declares his allegiance to his ancestors: “My life itself is of little moment, and it would be a monstrous presumption on my part to present the world with the story of my life as something to take note of were it not for the fact that my story is a part of the story of my people. . . . I am a Cherokee, and my story is of the Cherokees.” Conley evokes tribal beliefs and traditions to create a world in which time is cyclic, rather than linear, magic enables shape-shifters to take the form of owls, hawks and wolves, and tsgilis (witches) can call down curses on anyone foolish enough to offend them. These deeply felt, often haunting portraits capture the sorrow and defiance of a people confronting the alien values of their conquerors.


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