West of the Border: The Multicultural Literature of the Western American Frontiers

West of the Border: The Multicultural Literature of the Western American Frontiers

by Noreen Groover Lape


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Expanding the scope of American borderland and frontier literary scholarship, West of the Border examines the writings of nineteenth- and turn-of-the-century Native, African, Asian, and Anglo American frontier writers. This book views frontiers as “human spaces” where cultures make contact as it considers multicultural frontier writers who speak from “west of the border.”

James P. Beckwourth, a half-black fur trader; Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, a Paiute translator; Salishan author Mourning Dove; Cherokee novelist John Rollin Ridge; Sui Sin Far, an Anglo-Chinese short story writer, and her sister, romance novelist Onoto Watanna; and Mary Austin, a white southwestern writer- each of these intercultural writers faces a rite of passage into a new social order. Their writings negotiate their various frontier ordeals: the encroachment of pioneers on the land; reservation life; assimilation; Christianity; battles over territories and resources; exclusion; miscegenation laws; and the devastation of the environment.

In West of the Border, Noreen Groover Lape raises issues inherent in American pluralism today by broaching timely concerns about American frontier politics, conceptualizing frontiers as intercultural contact zones, and expanding the boundaries of frontier literary studies by giving voice to minority writers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780821413463
Publisher: Ohio University Press
Publication date: 09/28/2000
Edition description: 1
Pages: 234
Product dimensions: 5.94(w) x 8.95(h) x 0.72(d)

About the Author

Noreen Groover Lape is an assistant professor in the Department of Language and Literature at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. She is the author of West of the Border: The Multicultural Literature of the Western Frontiers, which was named an Outstanding Academic Book by Choice.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Rites of Passage, Contact Zones, and the American Frontiers1
1.Double Consciousness in the Borderlands: The Frontier Autobiographies of James P. Beckwourth and Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins19
2.The Second Coming of Trickster: Culture Contact and Trickster Border Narratives57
3.Bartered Brides and Compulsory Bachelors on the Chinese American Frontier: The Short Stories of Sui Sin Far85
4.Arranged Betrothals and Mixed Marriages: The Japanese American Romances of Onoto Watanna119
5.Conservation, Anthropology, and the Closed Frontier: The Southwestern Writings of Mary Austin137

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