Self-Determined Stories

Self-Determined Stories

The Indigenous Reinvention of Young Adult Literature

American Indian Studies

by Mandy Suhr-Sytsma

Published by: Michigan State University Press

226 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in

  • ISBN: 9781611862980
  • Published: November 2018

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The first book of its kind, Self-Determined Stories: The Indigenous Reinvention of Young Adult Literature reads Indigenous-authored YA—from school stories to speculative fiction— not only as a vital challenge to stereotypes but also as a rich intellectual resource for theorizing Indigenous sovereignty in the contemporary era. Building on scholarship from Indigenous studies, children’s literature, and cultural studies, Suhr-Sytsma delves deep in close readings of works by Sherman Alexie, Jeannette Armstrong, Joseph Bruchac, Drew Hayden Taylor, Susan Power, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel. Together, Suhr-Sytsma contends, these works constitute a unique Indigenous YA genre. This genre radically revises typical YA conventions while offering a fresh portrayal of Indigenous self-determination and a fresh critique of multiculturalism, heteropatriarchy, and hybridity. This literature, moreover, imagines compelling alternative ways to navigate cultural dynamism, intersectionality, and alliance-formation. Self-Determined Stories invites readers from a range of contexts to engage with Indigenous YA and convincingly demonstrates the centrality of Indigenous stories, Indigenous knowledge, and Indigenous people to the flourishing of everyone in every place.