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The Heirs of Columbus
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The Heirs of Columbus

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  117 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
If you must read a book on Columbus," declared the Los Angeles Times in its review of The Heirs of Columbus, "this is the one."

Gerald Vizenor's novel reclaims the story of Christopher Columbus on behalf of Native Americans by declaring the explorer himself to be a descendent of early Mayans and follows the adventures of his modern-day, mixed-blood heirs as they create a f
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Paperback, 198 pages
Published August 23rd 1991 by Wesleyan (first published July 15th 1991)
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Christy
I just don't dig Gerald Vizenor. I really disliked Bearheart and, though I didn't actively dislike The Heirs of Columbus, neither did I enjoy it. I am not yet able to put my finger on specifically what isn't working for me in Vizenor's work. A large part of it, I think, is my inability to connect with any of the characters or to get a concrete sense of the place in which the story is happening. As a trickster tale, a novel of ideas, The Heirs of Columbus foregoes realism in favor of playfulness, ...more
Delia
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
At first, this is a hard read. Not because of language but because it takes a while to start up. Once you've read the whole thing through, you have to read the first chapter again to understand the story.
elizabeth
Jan 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Wow. I'm still not sure I understood it all.
Michelle Boyer
Vizenor reinvents history by reclaiming Christopher Columbus as a man of Mayan heritage. This allows for new inventions of storytelling involving trickster figures, satire, mythopoetic motifs, magical realism, and enchantments. But mainly--it involves satire. I cannot say that I "loved" this novel. In fact, I found it hard to get through once I was about halfway through because of how "new-history" it becomes. If you don't know anything about Columbus or Native American history, you might not fo ...more
Nahrin
Apr 06, 2011 rated it liked it
I recently joined a book club at my workplace, Northwest Indian College. The club is intended for instructors, who are new to the Native community, to deepen their understanding of Native American cultures and experiences.

This book is written by a prof who teaches Native American Literature at UC Berkeley. He blends history, with fantasy and science fiction. But the author does expect the reader to already be very knowledgeable about Native American history. Not many context clues to figure out
...more
Dixon
Apr 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book enlightened my sense of exposition & sensibility, not to mention my approach to Native American culture. I can't really put into words how this book changed my perception of things. To call the ideas in this book holistic would not fully describe the beauty of its conceptualization. Right-Brain thinkers must read this.
Matteo
Nov 10, 2010 rated it liked it
We read this book as part of our book club at work. Reading it as a white person, i shared the reaction of several other people: this must be (at least a small taste of) what it's like to be a Native person navigating mainstream society's alien culture - and perhaps that 's part of the author's point. It was funny and interesting, very clever, but hard to follow.
Bryan
Feb 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Lambent blue star shaman healing time loop. One of the best novels I have ever read. One the few novels that gives me hope for a better world.
Carolyn
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
2.5/5
James Pullman
Feb 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one.
Recommended to James by: An idiotic professor
Horrible novel. Enough said.
Korah Ward
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29 followers
Gerald Robert Vizenor is an Anishinaabe writer and scholar, and an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, White Earth Reservation. Vizenor also taught for many years at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was Director of Native American Studies. With more than 30 books published, Vizenor is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, and Professor of Americ ...more
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