Cover image for The voice that was in travel : stories
The voice that was in travel : stories
Glancy, Diane.
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Publication Information:
Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
x, 116 pages ; 23 cm.
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In The Voice That Was in Travel, the frictions in Diane Glancy's writing express the sense of displacement her American Indian travelers endure. Whether the characters are working or on pleasure trips, in Oklahoma, on the backroads of Arkansas, or in Germany, Australia, or Italy, their journeys are always superimposed on the memories of old tribal migrations.

In twenty stories that range in length from one-page vignettes to novellas, Glancy creates characters who are quirky and uneasy but who nevertheless are consoled by Christianity. A seamstress who uses a "machine that heals as it sews, " a ridiculed woman who sees Jesus in a bicycling rag picker, a traveler who recalls Noah while navigating her way in a foreign country during a flood -- all find spiritual refuge amid their anxieties.

Using a terse, highly original style, Glancy reveals striking insights into contemporary American Indian life. At the same time, her stories reflect the universal contemporary theme of rapid, jarring change -- the uneasy sense that we are all strangers in a strange land.

Author Notes

Diane Glancy, who is Cherokee, is a Professor of English at Macalester College. She is the award-winning author of numerous books of nonfiction, poetry, and fiction, including Firesticks: A Collection of Stories, also published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Two new works about the different faces of faith from the prolific and expressionistic author of Flutie (1998). In the novel Fuller Man (a term for Jesus), the Williges of Missouri are a family divided, and Hadley, Glancy's serious and observant narrator, struggles to bridge the gap. On one side stand her newspaper-reporter father and his brother, Farley, a gifted photographer. Earthy and adventurous, they revel in the freedom their work grants them. Hadley's mother and her pious and forbidding sister, Mary, occupy the opposite shore. They are dutiful and unhappy women, bound too tightly to the church and rigid concepts of responsibility to family. Hadley and her siblings, Nealy and Gus, flounder among the willful and contentious adults. Gus never finds himself, Nealy becomes a missionary in Nigeria, and Hadley is torn between her faith, her desire for a newspaper career, and her hope for a family of her own. As Glancy insightfully and poetically explores the clash between faith and experience, and between individual passions and the sacrifices required by the church, she infuses her tale with the music of scripture and the emotion of prayer. Half-German and half-Cherokee, Glancy uses road stories to explore the nature of faith in contemporary Native American life in her fourth short story collection. Like her novel, these tales dramatize the conflict between the artistic impulse and the tenets of religion, but here her focus is on the overlay of Native American beliefs with Christianity. As her imaginative stories reveal, this forced commingling of faiths continues to ferment as American Indians attempt to keep their culture alive while casinos vie with churches in attracting people who are hoping for miracles. --Donna Seaman

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Reaching for Airp. 3
Blastp. 8
Badlandsp. 9
Parachute Rocket w / Flarep. 15
Roadp. 21
The Birds with the Breeze of Their Wingsp. 30
A Later Game of Marblesp. 31
Crossing the Specificp. 35
In the Burritop. 41
You Know Those People Don't Talkp. 43
Jupterp. 47
The Man Whose Voice Was in Travelp. 48
Sumacp. 54
Spikesp. 56
The Great Housep. 58
The Bird Who Reached Heavenp. 64
Shep. 74
A Woman Who Sewed for Me a Dress That Sleeves Didn't Fitp. 79
There He Is Againp. 83
America's First Paradep. 89