Choctaw Tales: An Interview with LeAnne Howe

Kirwan, Padraig. 2017. Choctaw Tales: An Interview with LeAnne Howe. Women: A Cultural Review, 27(3), pp. 265-279. ISSN 0957-4042 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

LeAnne Howe, a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Eidson Distinguished Professor of American Literature in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia, writes poetry, fiction, screenplays, plays, creative non-fiction and critical essays. Her work is primarily concerned with the experiences and the perspectives of American Indian people and communities. Howe’s latest book, Choctalking on Other Realities (2013), which she describes as “three parts memoir, one part tragedy, one part absurdist fiction, and one part ‘marvellous realism’”, received the inaugural Modern Language Association Prize for Studies in Native American Literatures, Cultures and Languages in 2014. Along with being the recipient of a United States Artists (USA) Ford Fellowship, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas, Howe also received the 2015 Western Literature Association Distinguished Achievement Award, a prize that “honours transformative contributions to the field of Western American literary studies.” Howe’s writing could easily be described as enlivening, eclectic and often hectic, and, more often than not, she brings together a plethora of stories concerning the historical and contemporary experiences of the Choctaw nation. Various geographical, spiritual, familial and narratological spaces are revealed or plotted during the course of Howe’s narratives, and, as a consequence, images that relate to the act of mapping, the basis of storytelling, and the subject of community and place become recurring motifs throughout her writing. Concerned with the ways in which Choctaw lifeways have been mapped out across time, Howe appears to be especially interested in the representation of travel, exchange, contact, and consumption not only in pre-contact and post-contact America, but within the global village.

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Key words: Choctaw literature, American Indian people and communities, Native American Literary Studies, tribalography, Indigenous epistemologies, America.

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature


19 December 2016Accepted
17 February 2017Published

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Date Deposited:

06 Jan 2017 12:42

Last Modified:

01 Jun 2018 08:55

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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