Cover image for Smoke dancing
Smoke dancing
Gansworth, Eric L.
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Physical Description:
x, 235 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Rabbit dance -- The last dance -- Redman's drop -- Harvest moon eclipse -- Unfinished business -- A six-chair night -- Curbside Phoenix -- Standing quiver dance -- The sharpest vision -- Frostbite -- Winter garden -- Commodities -- Fighting and flying -- Undercurrents -- Smoke dance -- Snap shots -- Bloodstone mortar -- Washed in the blood of the land -- Mourning rituals -- Rites of passage -- The first dance.
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FICTION Adult Fiction Central Library - Local Authors

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The power struggle between traditionalists and progressives on a modern-day reservation is at the center of Eric Gansworth's latest work of fiction. Through the characters and their unique “voices," he deftly develops the multiple viewpoints and arguments that currently exist on many reservations. These voices include a traditional chief and a modern-day group of young adults who, as neglected children, banded together in a traditional dance group. The narrative thread that connects these characters uses the metaphor of traditional dance and its relationship to the integrity of Iroquois culture.
     A number of the dance group have come to work in the growing empire formed by one of their members—selling tax-free cigarettes and gasoline on reservation land. This new economic base alters the balance of power on the reservation. At the center of the conflict is Fiction Tunny, a dancer and developing love interest of a man in the smoke business. She is also the illegitimate daughter of the chief, who refuses to acknowledge her; to admit she exists would be to admit he is not fit for his role of chief. Fiction's resentment of her father and the sometimes archaic nature of his life and government are juxtaposed with the predatory nature of the entrepreneur who begins pursuing her sexually at all costs. Fiction seeks a balance, a path that will ground her identity in tradition while following her ever-changing culture into the future.

Author Notes

Eric Gansworth is Associate Professor of English, Canisius College, Buffalo, New York.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prologue: Women's Shuffle Fiction Tunnyp. 1
Part 1 Rabbit Dance (a women's choice dance for couples)p. 5
Round 1
Chapter 1 The Last Dance Fiction Tunnyp. 7
Chapter 2 Redman's Drop Mason Rollinsp. 19
Round 2
Chapter 3 Harvest Moon Eclipse Bud Tunnyp. 37
Chapter 4 Unfinished Business Fiction Tunnyp. 47
Round 3
Chapter 5 A Six-Chair Night Fiction Tunnyp. 59
Chapter 6 Curbside Phoenix Big Red Harmonyp. 71
Part 2 Standing Quiver Dance (a group war and hunting dance)p. 87
Round 1 Hunting
Chapter 7 The Sharpest Vision Bud Tunnyp. 89
Chapter 8 Frostbite Big Red Harmonyp. 101
Chapter 9 Winter Garden Fiction Tunnyp. 119
Round 2 Warfare
Chapter 10 Commodities Mason Rollinsp. 137
Chapter 11 Fighting and Flying Fiction Tunnyp. 149
Chapter 12 Undercurrents Bud Tunnyp. 163
Part 3 Smoke Dance (an individual competition dance)p. 175
Round 1
Chapter 13 Snap Shots Big Red Harmonyp. 177
Chapter 14 Bloodstone Mortar Mason Rollinp. 189
Chapter 15 Washed in the Blood of the Land Ruby Pemp. 201
Chapter 16 Mourning Rituals Bud Tunnyp. 211
Chapter 17 Rites of Passage Patricia Tunnyp. 219
Chapter 18 The First Dance Two-Step Harmonyp. 227