Cover image for Field of honor : a novel
Field of honor : a novel
Birchfield, D. L., 1948-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
236 pages ; 23 cm.
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In D. L. Birchfield's Field of Honor, a secret underground civilization of Choctaws, deep beneath the Ouachita Mountains of southeastern Oklahoma, has evolved into a high-tech culture, supported by the labor of slaves kidnapped from the surface. Underground, long yellow rows of corn stand tall and ripe in immense, brightly lit greenhouses, and great games of stickball are played in the dark in huge stadiums with glowing balls.

The twentieth century has been one long, golden summer for this underground Choctaw community, where nothing is more important than the ball games. Here Choctaw traditions are safe from the cultural genocide being waged in the world above. But crisis is about to strike the underground community, threatening its continued existence.

Into this idyllic underground Choctaw world stumbles P. P. McDaniel, a half-blood Choctaw Marine Corps deserter from the Vietnam War who has the great misfortune of suffering from Stockholm Cowardice Syndrome Dysfunction. Reeling from culture shock and struggling for his own survival, McDaniel becomes entangled in political intrigue and an unlikely romance in this rich satire.

Author Notes

D. L. Birchfield is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. His Oklahoma Basic Intelligence Test won the North American Native Authors First Book Award from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas and the University of Oklahoma

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Birchfield, a member of the Choctaw Nation and author of several children's books and an essay collection, has concocted an over-the-top satire skewering the U.S. armed forces, the war in Vietnam, the proliferation of Christianity among Native Americans, and even his own Choctaw traditions. His protagonist, McDaniel, is a half-Choctaw marine who deserts his unit in Vietnam, spends years hiding in the valleys of southeastern Oklahoma, and eventually descends into a deep cavern connected to a Choctaw community that has gone underground to escape the holocaust perpetuated against Indians. Parodying the Bureau of Indian Affairs schools where Native Americans were stripped of their culture, the author sends his hero to classes in game theory and the vicious proselytizing religion which has spread up aboveground. No government action adversely affecting Native Americans escapes Birchfield's piercing barbs, including the precipitous construction of dams and the current search for oil reserves in Alaska. This debut novel's mix of biting satire and science fiction may not have broad appeal, but its message is impossible to ignore. --Deborah Donovan Copyright 2004 Booklist

Table of Contents

Part 1. Stockholm Cowardice Syndrome Dysfunctionp. 1
Part 2. The Children of the Sunp. 95
Part 3. The Secret of Bugaboo Canyonp. 217