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Men on the Moon: Collected Short Stories

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  30 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
When Faustin, the old Acoma, is given his first television set, he considers it a technical wonder, a box full of mystery. What he sees on its screen that first day, however, is even more startling than the television itself: men have landed on the moon. Can this be real?For Simon Ortiz, Faustin's reaction proves that tales of ordinary occurrences can truly touch the heart ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published July 1st 1999 by University of Arizona Press
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I thought I'd read this collection several years ago but many of the stories felt new while others were very familiar. Perhaps I skipped around, which would have been appropriate since the stories in this collection operate in a variety modes and were composed at different times in the poet's career. Some lean on cultural traditions, others are autobiographical. Ortiz's principal theme is cultures in conflict, namely anglo vs. native. While known principally as a poet, Ortiz's prose is powerfull ...more
Adam Woolsey
Nov 13, 2013 Adam Woolsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eng408
Men on the Moon is a brilliant collection of short stories that heavily emphasize the relevance and importance of indigenous knowledge. The stories do well to make comparisons and uncover the dichotomy between Native American indigenous cultural knowledge and modern knowledge. The stories vividly portray the cultural differences between native and non-native sociological structures.
The title short story, Men on the Moon, centers on an old Native American man named Faustin and his grandson Amaros
There are essentially two types of stories in this collection: stories that illuminate a part of the human experience through a story about a specific emotion or event (e.g., "Feeling Old" or "Feathers") and stories that reflect upon stories themselves (e.g., "You Were Real, the White Radical Said to Me" or "What Indians Do"). My favorites belong to the latter category, stories that are reflective, beautifully written (like poetry, really), and meaningful in a way that gives the whole collection ...more
Craig Werner
Jul 25, 2011 Craig Werner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: native-american
Simon Ortiz is the presiding elder of Native American poetry and much of what makes his poems crucial is present in this book of short stories, which collects his fiction from the 1960s to the 1990s. Wise, funny, deceptively simple, Ortiz isn't afraid of direct political statement, but he always makes sure that it's connected to the lives people live. He says he bases his form on the oral tradition, and there's a conversational style, but most of these are fairly conventional stories. Good ones.
Ortiz's Men on the Moon reads like picking voices out from a crowd - seeing a wash of humanity before you, and having the ability to listen in on a handful of stories. The variation in voice, setting, and character is enormous, and that's a real strength of this volume as a whole - the range of experiences, beliefs, ideas, and challenges that are caught up in each tale reveal much about being 'Indian' in the late-twentieth century.
Alana Wilkin
I enjoyed the stories of older Native Americans and their reactions to changes in technology and the world in general. Mr. Ortiz is a storyteller and many of his stories would have been better told aloud. If you can find this book as an audio version, I would suggest that instead of reading it yourself.
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Simon J. Ortiz is a Puebloan writer of the Acoma Pueblo tribe, and one of the key figures in the second wave of what has been called the Native American Renaissance. He is one of the most respected and widely read Native American poets.

After a three-year stint in the U.S. military, Ortiz enrolled at the University of New Mexico. There, he discovered few ethnic voices within the American literature
More about Simon J. Ortiz...

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