Greg Sarris & Robert McNally - An Evening in Conversation (Corte Madera Store)

Sunday, March 18, 2018 - 4:00pm

In the tradition of Calvino's Italian Folktales, Greg Sarris, author of the award-winning novel Grand Avenue, turns his attention to his ancestral homeland of Sonoma Mountain in Northern California.

In sixteen interconnected original stories, the twin crows Question Woman and Answer Woman take us through a world unlike yet oddly reminiscent of our own: one which blooms bright with poppies, lupines, and clover; one in which Waterbug kidnaps an entire creek; in which songs have the power to enchant; in which Rain is a beautiful woman who keeps people's memories in stones.

Inspired by traditional Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo creation tales, these stories are timeless in their wisdom and beauty, and because of this timelessness their messages are vital and immediate. The figures in these stories ponder the meaning of leadership, of their place within the landscape and their community. In these stories we find a model for how we can all come home again.

At once ancient and contemporary, How a Mountain Was Made is equally at home in modern letters as the ancient story cycle. Sarris infuses his stories with a prose stylist's creativity and inventiveness, moving American Indian literature in a new and emergent direction.

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On a cold, rainy dawn in late November 1872, Lieutenant Frazier Boutelle and a Modoc Indian nicknamed Scarface Charley leveled firearms at each other. Their duel triggered a war that capped a decades-long genocidal attack that was emblematic of the United States' conquest of Native America's peoples and lands. Robert Aquinas McNally tells the wrenching story of the Modoc War of 1872-73, one of the nation's costliest campaigns against North American Indigenous peoples, in which the army placed nearly one thousand soldiers in the field against some fifty-five Modoc fighters.

Although little known today, the Modoc War dominated national headlines for an entire year. Fought in south-central Oregon and northeastern California, the war settled into a siege in the desolate Lava Beds and climaxed the decades-long effort to dispossess and destroy the Modocs.

The war did not end with the last shot fired, however. For the first and only time in U.S. history, Native fighters were tried and hanged for war crimes. The surviving Modocs were packed into cattle cars and shipped from Fort Klamath to the corrupt, disease-ridden Quapaw reservation in Oklahoma, where they found peace even more lethal than war.

The Modoc War tells the forgotten story of a violent and bloody Gilded Age campaign at a time when the federal government boasted officially of a "peace policy" toward Indigenous nations. This compelling history illuminates a dark corner in our country's past. 

Robert Aquinas McNally is a freelance writer and editor based in Concord, California. He is the author or coauthor of nine nonfiction books, including So Remorseless a Havoc: Of Dolphins, Whales, and Men.

 

Location: 
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925
Kindle: How a Mountain Was Made: Stories Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781597144148
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Heyday Books - October 10th, 2017

In the tradition of Calvino's Italian Folktales, Greg Sarris, author of the award-winning novel Grand Avenue, turns his attention to his ancestral homeland of Sonoma Mountain in Northern California.


The Modoc War: A Story of Genocide at the Dawn of America’s Gilded Age Cover Image
$34.95
ISBN: 9781496201799
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bison Books - November 1st, 2017

On a cold, rainy dawn in late November 1872, Lieutenant Frazier Boutelle and a Modoc Indian nicknamed Scarface Charley leveled firearms at each other. Their duel triggered a war that capped a decades-long genocidal attack that was emblematic of the United States’ conquest of Native America’s peoples and lands.