University of Minnesota Press, Hardcover, 9780816628940, 216pp.
Publication Date: March 15, 1997
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In this groundbreaking work of creative nonfiction, American Book Award winner Diane Glancy juxtaposes personal essays, Cherokee myths, and imaginative sketches to explore her experiences as a Native American mixed-blood coming to terms with the fragmentary nature of her life. The West Pole is a book about story-making; in it, Glancy explores the ways one structure of Native American story-telling reflects and shapes her own sense of identity. Through words, she creates and recreates herself, her world, the traditions of the Cherokee people from whom she is descended. Glancy herself has moved, circling back in her history, the history of the Cherokee people, and our history as a storied nation. Genealogy, school, Native American novels, Minnesota Public Radio, television, exercise bikes, Christmas gifts, autumn leaves, snow, a painting by Pissarro, a flight to Chicago, movies and photo albums: these are some of the occasions and objects that trigger Glancy's meditations, that become milestones on her journey.