by Billy J Stratton Print book
Innovative and compelling!   (2013-12-02)
In his book "Buried in Shades of Night", Stratton manages to offer new insights into a well-ploughed field of research by arguing that the famous Indian captivity narrative "The Sovereignty and Goodness of God", usually attributed to Mary Rowlandson, was more than likely not only influenced but also produced by Increase Mather, a Puritan minister determined to spread his beliefs in the new world as well as the old. The author points to the long tradition of demonizing and dehumanizing Native Americans in the genre of the captivity narrative and admonishes scholars not to ignore and consequently erase Native subjectivity while simultaneously recovering it himself by taking a closer look at the so-called Other and its side of the (his)story.
In this book, Billy J. Stratton cleverly forges a bridge between captivity narratives of the 17th century and their modern counterparts (slave narratives and boarding school literature, for example). Also, in questioning the American government's decision to refer to Osama Bin Laden as Geronimo (name of a Native leader who took up arms against white occupants), he implies that the discourse regarding Native Americans still has not changed - even today, they are often still regarded as savages while savagery is simultaneously being connected to terrorism.
"Buried in Shades of Night" is a well-written, coherent, compelling, and fascinating book tracing and ultimately challenging the generally accepted historiography of the Indian captivity narrative from the 17th until the 21st century. A must-read for anyone interested in Indigenous, Cultural, or Literary Studies!
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