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Why Indigenous Literatures Matter

4.64  ·  Rating details ·  76 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Part survey of the field of Indigenous literary studies, part cultural history, and part literary polemic, Why Indigenous Literatures Matter asserts the vital significance of literary expression to the political, creative, and intellectual efforts of Indigenous peoples today. In considering the connections between literature and lived experience, this book contemplates fou ...more
Paperback, 284 pages
Published February 28th 2018 by Wilfrid Laurier University Press
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4.64  · 
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 ·  76 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Teachers and librarians will gain immensely by reading this book. What they learn will help them do a better job at preparing instructional materials and/or selecting (and deselecting) materials in a library.

Writers will gain a lot, too, about their biases. Are they, for example, creating stories that depict Native peoples as deficient? Are they *aware* that they are doing that? A close study of this book--and perhaps using it in writers workshops--will help with that particular problem.

Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 24in48
Amazing, with great recs for Indigenous writers.
Amy Sturgis
This is an immensely useful work, not to mention a challenging and even inspirational one. I read/teach/write in this field, and I covered this with highlights and sticky notes so I could return to key passages and citations. I most certainly will be sharing this with my students.

Meant to inspire conversation and further reading (both of which it is certain to do), Why Indigenous Literatures Matter is part survey of the field of Indigenous literary studies, part cultural history, part literary p
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, queer-etc
There is so much wonderful in this book: Literature analysis and recommendations for Indigenous authors and writings, obviously. A reflection on the author's own history. And a meditation through a queer, Indigenous lens on what literature is and why it matters at all.

The book is structured into chapters around four important questions that Indigenous literature can help try to answer: How do we learn to be human? How do we learn to be good relatives? How do we learn to be good ancestors? And h
Jenna (Falling Letters)
May 07, 2018 marked it as on-hold
Shelves: indigenous
Will have to finish this when I get back from my summer job, as the library there doesn’t have a copy.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A thoughtful and deeply researched survey of the importance of Indigenous literature. Justice divides the book into four main sections, each titled with a question: "How do we learn to be human? How do we become good relatives? How to we become good ancestors? How so we learn to live together?" Indigenous texts and authors have always addressed these deep and vital concerns, and they continue to do so today. Justice pulls quotes from novels, poems, plays and essays that especially address these ...more
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very readable, solidly grounded academic work that should be of interest to any thoughtful reader. While he discusses many books by indigenous writers, his focus is the bigger context, as shown by his title. The chapters each examine one of four guiding questions: How do we learn to be human? How do we behave as good relatives? How do we become good ancestors? How do we learn to live together? His thoughtful examination of these questions not only gave me specific new insights but also deepene ...more
Igpy Kin
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The amount of time it took me to finish this is a reflection of a lot of conflict going on in my life this summer, and not at all reflective of the accessibility of the book; it is hard to find books that survey vast bodies of literature that are at all enjoyable to read, let alone ones that are written beautifully. This book was an absolute pleasure to read, and its many recommendations and reflections sent me spiralling that much deeper into the bottomless abyss of my Goodreads "Want to Read" ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-reads
I recommend this beautifully articulated book very highly. I learned so much, both about indigenous literatures and about teaching and thinking about literature period. I got many ideas for things to talk about with my students and think about in my readings and a good list of future reads.
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I finished reading Why Indigenous Literatures Matter by Daniel Heath Justice. It was an interesting read. It was very well written.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal read.
Barbara McVeigh
A great academic resource. Gives insight on how to read and understand Indigenous literatures. An important book for educators!
Malou Brouwer
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
4,5* A much needed book, highly relevant and well-written. Very inspiring!
Kurt Lewin
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent book!
James Fisher
Why Indigenous Literatures Matter was a pleasure to read, for I was learning new ways of viewing not only the Indigenous world but discovering new ways of looking at myself (as a settler Canadian) and my relationships with others, Indigenous or otherwise. Highly recommended reading.
Maggie Doherty
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Daniel Heath Justice is a U.S.-born Canadian citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and the author of Our Fire Survives the Storm: A Cherokee Literary History (2006) (University of Minnesota Press) as well as an Indigenous fantasy trilogy, The Way of Thorn & Thunder--Kynship (2005), Wyrwood (2006), and Dreyd (2007)--all published by Kegedonce Press. He teaches Aboriginal literatures at the ...more