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Hotline Healers
An Almost Browne Novel
Gerald Vizenor

1997 • 182 pp. 6 x 9"
Fiction & Literature / Native American Studies

$22.95 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-5304-1

This satirical tour de force teases readers out of a complacent acceptance of romantic stereotypes.

In this collection of eleven linked stories, Gerald Vizenor brings back one of his most popular characters, Almost Browne, in full trickster force. Born in the back of a hatchback, almost on the White Earth Reservation, this crossblood storyteller sells blank books -- some autographed (by him) with such names as Isaac Singer, Geoffrey Chaucer, N. Scott Momaday, and Jesus Christ; projects laser demons over the reservation; lectures in the Transethnic Situations Department at the University of California; is crowned Indian Princess of the University of Oklahoma by posing as the "mature" senior Penny Birdwind (who majors in native animations and simulations) and delivering a heartstopping, lip-synched rendition of Peggy Lee's "Fever"; and much more. The stories feature many members of the Browne family, including Grandmother Wink, who can drop an insect in flight with a single puff of her poison breath, and great-uncle Gesture, the acudenturist who creates false teeth with tricky smiles from the Naanabozho Express, the free railroad train he runs on the reservation.

Vizenor's work, drawing upon the trickster tradition in Native American culture, is among the most radical in Native American writing today. Academics of all stripes, but particularly anthropologists, champions of victimry, Richard Nixon, and many others come under the lash of Vizenor's satiric tongue in this hilarious, often surreal work.

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Reviews / Endorsements

“Gerald Vizenor is high among the dozen American writers I read faithfully. His work demonstrates a tremendous ingenuity and fire, a survival through wit and grace. Vizenor is unique in the sense that he does not vaguely remind you of anyone else nor does he share any of the common banal assumptions that disfigure modern letters.” —Jim Harrison

"Don't let the Ph.D.isms deter you. Gerald Vizenor belongs to the great trickster tradition of American writing that spans from the African-American and Native American comic narratives to Will Rogers, MarkTwain, and Richard Pryor."Ishmael Reed

“In Hotline Healers the genius of Gerald Vizenor is honed to perhaps its finest edge yet. The novel’s own words, describing its hero Almost Browne, may tease us into understanding: 'Yes,' the narrator confesses, 'my cousin is outrageous, notorious, wanton, a natural brother, and . . . a mighty healer in his stories.' Hotline Healers underscores, yet again, Vizenor's preeminence as the most brilliant, the most radically challenging, and paradoxically the most traditional of 'postindian' authors. Vizenor's brilliance is 'always tricky, but never tragic'; Almost Browne is a necessary healing disturbance for every reader in America.” Louis Owens, University of New Mexico

GERALD VIZENOR is Professor of Native American Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. His books published by Wesleyan are Shadow Distance: A Gerald Vizenor Reader (1994), Manifest Manners: Postindian Warriors of Survivance (1993), Landfill Meditation: Crossblood Stories (1991), and The Heirs of Columbus (1991). His second book, Griever: An American Monkey King in China, won the 1988 American Book Award.

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:00:21 -0500