American Indian Stories
“American Indian Stories is an important collection because it represents one of the first attempts by a Native American woman to write her own story without the aid of an editor, an interpreter, or an ethnographer. Zitkala-Ša presents . . . the pain and difficulty of growing up Indian in a white man’s world.”—Dexter Fisher
Zitkala-Ša (Gertrude Bonnin) was one of the early Indian writers to record tribal legends and tales from oral tradition. "Impressions of an Indian Childhood" describes her first eight yeas on the Yankton Reservation, where she was born in 1876. Her schooling in Indiana revealed a gift for writing that led in 1901 to the publication of Old Indian Legends, also a Bison Book. For the rest of her rife, this Sioux was in the poignant but creative position of trying to bridge the gap between her own culture and the dominant white one, unable to return fully to the former or to enter fully into the latter.
These pieces, largely autobiographical, were first collected and published in 1921. With their reissue, Zitkala-Ša takes her rightful place among such native interpreters of Sioux culture as Charles A. Eastman and Luther Standing Bear.
195 pp — ©1986