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A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature
Bawaajimo: A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature combines literary criticism, sociolinguistics, native studies, and poetics to introduce an Anishinaabe way of reading. Although nationally specific, the book speaks to a broad audience by demonstrating an indigenous literary methodology. Investigating the language itself, its place of origin, its sound and structure, and its current usage provides new critical connections between North American fiction, Native American literatures, and Anishinaabe narrative. The four Anishinaabe authors discussed in the book, Louise Erdrich, Jim Northrup, Basil Johnston, and Gerald Vizenor, share an ethnic heritage but are connected more clearly by a culture of tales, songs, and beliefs. Each of them has heard, studied, and written in Anishinaabemowin, making their heritage language a part of the backdrop and sometimes the medium, of their work. All of them reference the power and influence of the Great Lakes region and the Anishinaabeakiing, and they connect the landscape to the original language. As they reconstruct and deconstruct the aadizookaan, the traditional tales of Nanabozho and other mythic figures, they grapple with the legacy of cultural genocide and write toward a future that places ancient beliefs in the center of the cultural horizon.
Publication Date: March 1st, 2014
234 pages| 6 in x 9 in
MARGARET NOODIN received an MFA in Creative Writing and a PhD in English and Linguistics from the University of Minnesota. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee where she also serves as the Director of the Electa Quinney Institute and teaches Anishinaabemowin. She is also cocreator of and has published a bilingual edition of poetry in Anishinaabemowin and English.

Early Praise

"This work makes a significant contribution to a field with very few scholarly texts and a rising readership. An Anishinaabe-centered critical reading from a scholar with fluency in the Anishinaabe language is a singular contribution, absolutely new and years ahead of any other work that will compete on any level."
Heid E. Erdrich, author of National Monuments
"This book gets to the heart of indigenous writing through an impeccable examination of Anishinaabe language and literature.  Noodin’s expansive knowledge and clear explanations invite readers to a new and imaginative understanding of major Anishinaabe authors."
Jane Hafen, Professor of English, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
"Margaret Noodin's Bawaajimo is grounded in a deep understanding of Anishinaabemowin, cutting-edge literary criticism, and a wide breadth of experience on the land, in classrooms, and in lodges. These rich essays of love and respect for our stories and storytellers not only sets a new standard for studies in Anishinaabeg literature but embodies a new critical approach utilizing the ways language, creativity, and history operates in our culture. It is an honour song for our ancestors and our communities. Gichi-miigwech nimise".
Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Co-editor of Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding the World through Stories
"We need more books like Noodin’s, more readers who can make a conversation between Native language and Native literature, and more readers who can bring together a lived knowledge of language and culture with a specific American Indian literary tradition. Noodin’s book is culturally and intellectually generous and a great and illuminating pleasure to read."
Robert Dale Parker, author of The Invention of Native American Literature

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