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NYS Writers Institute, November 9, 2010
7:30 p.m. Reading | Standish Room, Science Library
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Standish Room, Science Library

Gerald Vizenor, major Native American novelist and winner of the American Book Award, will read from and discuss his new novel “Shrouds of White Earth” (2010), at 7:30 p.m. [NOTE EARLY START TIME], Tuesday, November 9, 2010, in the Standish Room, Science Library, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m. the author will present an informal seminar in the same location. Cosponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and SUNY Press in conjunction with the Second Annual John G. Neihardt Lecture, the events are free and open to the public. Reception to follow.

Shrouds of White EarthGerald Vizenor,
prolific novelist, poet, literary critic, and member of the Anishinaabe (Chippewa) people of the White Earth Reservation, has been called “the supreme ironist among American Indian writers” by bestselling Cherokee author N. Scott Momaday.

Vizenor’s newest novel, “Shrouds of White Earth” (SUNY Press, 2010), follows the struggles of a modern Anishinaabe painter among the ultra-traditionalists and “casino politicians” of his home reservation, and in the exotic world of contemporary High Art. In advance praise, Cherokee poet Diane Glancy said, “The inventor of invention rides again. In this book, the master trickster takes on the disciplines of visual art, narrative, and song… What a pleasure to ride into Vizenorland, where colors spread and horses fly.”
Vizenor received the American Book Award and the Fiction Collective Prize for his groundbreaking 1988 novel “Griever: An American Monkey King in China,” about the misadventures of a Native American academic in Communist China. The novel finds inspiration in the uncanny similarities between Native American trickster traditions and Chinese “Monkey King” folk tales.

Gerald VizenorWriting in the “L. A. Times Book  Review,” Anthony Yu said that Vizenor depicts China with “devastating comic irony,” and said that “The sights, sounds and smells of the land are often unerringly captured by the author’s lean, laconic prose.”

Other works of “trickster” fiction by Vizenor include “The Trickster of Liberty” (1988), “Landfill Meditation” (1991), “The Heirs of Columbus” (1991), and “Dead Voices” (1992). His most recent novel is “Father Meme” (2008), about the murder of a pedophilic priest on an Indian reservation. In the “American Indian Quarterly,” Deborah Madsen said, “Vizenor has found an answer to one of the most pressing questions for contemporary Native American literature: How, in an age of debased media reportage and commodified trauma narratives, can a true story of horror be told?”

Last year, SUNY Press reissued Vizenor’s memoir, “Interior Landscapes: Autobiographical Myths and Metaphors” (1990), widely regarded as a classic of Native American autobiography, and winner of the PEN Oakland Book Award.

Distinguished Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico, Vizenor is also Professor Emeritus of American Studies at UC Berkeley. He will receive the 2010 MELUS Lifetime Achievement Award at the upcoming MLA Convention in Los Angeles.

The event is cosponsored by SUNY Press in conjunction with the Second Annual John G. Neihardt Lecture. Reception to follow.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.