Savage Conversations

Leanne Howe (Author)
Available

Description

May 1875: Mary Todd Lincoln is addicted to opiates and tried in a Chicago court on charges of insanity. Entered into evidence is Ms. Lincoln's claim that every night a Savage Indian enters her bedroom and slashes her face and scalp. She is swiftly committed to Bellevue Place Sanitarium. Her hauntings may be a reminder that in 1862, President Lincoln ordered the hanging of thirty-eight Dakotas in the largest mass execution in United States history. No one has ever linked the two events--until now. Savage Conversations is a daring account of a former first lady and the ghosts that tormented her for the contradictions and crimes on which this nation is founded.

Product Details

Price
$15.95  $14.67
Publisher
Coffee House Press
Publish Date
February 05, 2019
Pages
144
Dimensions
4.9 X 0.5 X 7.4 inches | 0.3 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781566895316
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

LeAnne Howe (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) is a poet, fiction writer, playwright, and filmmaker. Her most recent book, Choctalking on Other Realities, won the inaugural 2014 MLA Prize for Studies in Native American Literatures, Cultures, and Languages. She is the Eidson Distinguished Professor in American Literature in English at the University of Georgia, Athens.

Reviews

"I am stunned by the beauty, humor, and originality of this book. It feels as new as the Garden of Eden, except Adam is really the Holy Trinity of the Three Stooges, and Eve is a genius Native woman poet-professor. For years, I've hoped that we Native writers will build a twenty-first century literary rocket and blast off into brand new space. LeAnne Howe (along with Adam, Eve, the Three Stooges, The Lone Ranger and Tonto, Crazy Horse and Custer, and the entire cast of Gilligan's Island, along with Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and five or six smiling Indian elders) has done exactly that. This book is new." --Sherman Alexie

"LeAnne Howe's Evidence of Red is a complex and exhilarating symphony, with passages of mythic sweep, swatches of history, and poignant memoir--held together with her inimitable take-no-prisoners comic sense." --Ken McCullough

"How does she do it? Cross Rocky Horror Picture Show with War and Peace in a voice that sings America's song as deeply as the best musical poetry of Walt Whitman? But no, Howe's voice is so utterly unique, comparisons can't do her justice. Evidence of Red succeeds on every level: emotional, intellectual, spiritual, sensual, political. This volume is a gift from a rich place--wise, generous, exciting, and completely fresh." --Susan Power

"LeAnne Howe's Evidence of Red: Poems and Prose cracks open the strictures of literature with passion, enthusiasm, verve, and style! And I mean it is truly coming into being Choctaw style and beyond! You haven't read Howe yet until you experience her ranging in Evidence of Red from oral story style, poetic verse, fiction, dramatic script, even a bit of a musical, take your pick. And then let her lead you into history, intrigue, comedy and comic insight, even mystery, yes, as she impels you and other readers toward decolonization with attitude! A very fine and fulfilling read." --Simon J. Ortiz

"Howe's drama taps emotional undercurrents that course imperceptibly through conventional historical narratives." --Publishers Weekly

"In May of 1875, Mary Todd Lincoln is confined to an insane asylum. There, she is haunted by a 'Savage Indian' who scalps her nightly and sews her eyes open. In Howe's telling, the specter haunting the widowed First Lady is one of the thirty eight Dakota men, hanged in 1862 by her husband in the largest mass execution in American history. In reading this, I was blown away. Unmoored. Sent spiraling adrift on gusts of wind." --Rachel S, Harvard Book Store

"Part fever dream, part extended meditation on madness, Howe's Savage Conversations is a bracing commentary on the nature of guilt and grief." --Historical Novel Society

"Savage Conversations takes place somewhere in between its sources, between sanity and madness, between then and now, between the living and the dead. It pushes past the limitations of textual sources for telling indigenous history and accounts of insanity." --Barrelhouse Reviews

"An eerie mash-up that ties President Lincoln's mass 1862 execution of 38 Dakota warriors to the hallucinations of Mary Todd Lincoln." --City Pulse

"LeAnne Howe's words are to savor, contemplate, and horrify. Savage Conversations explodes with the stench of guilt and insanity that undergirds the American story, whispered through a personal, familial, national, and supernatural drama revelatory in every sense. Howe's uncanny images will long haunt readers, just as the Dakota 38 linger in land and memory, both offering a testament to the violent entanglements of past and present." --Philip J. Deloria

"LeAnne Howe's play Savage Conversations activates this space in history. She fills the wide-open gaps with a narrative of 'what could have been, ' makes the absences present in very intimate ways." --Full Stop

"Savage Conversations invokes our own racial conflict and probes America's psyche, its struggle to reconcile its colonialist values, indeed its white supremacy, with its multi-ethnic cultures and populations. . . . Through the masterly dramatic management of Mrs. Lincoln's disturbing and chilling obsessions, Howe shows that there is no escape from the yesterday's paradigms of power without a true reckoning with the injustices that set the stage for our troubled social landscape." --On the Seawall

"Howe's book powerfully contributes to our understanding and re-thinking of a moment in time that we are still grappling with today. In the wake of recent movements to remove Confederate monuments as we work to present the truths of history, Howe's book directs our attention to a violent event that has not been adequately acknowledged. Through experimental form, Howe refracts a moment of history that readers simply cannot forget, that they will inevitably carry with them long after reading the last page." --The Carolina Quarterly

"This is a haunted poem. Howe gives us voices intimate, twisted, and deluded--and yet relentlessly exact. Inside this drama in verse, a seething history uncoils. But do we meet a mad woman's fantasy or someone more real?" --Heid Erdrich

Praise for LeAnne Howe

"Let her lead you into history, intrigue, comedy and comic insight, even mystery, yes, as she impels you and other readers toward decolonization with attitude! A very fine and fulfilling read." --Simon J. Ortiz

"How does she do it? Cross Rocky Horror Picture Show with War and Peace in a voice that sings America's song as deeply as the best musical poetry of Walt Whitman? But no, Howe's voice is so utterly unique, comparisons can't do her justice." --Susan Power