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Molly Spotted Elk

Molly Spotted Elk

A Penobscot In Paris

by Bunny McBride

This book chronicles the extraordinary life of twentieth-century performing artist Molly Spotted Elk. Born in 1903 on the Penobscot reservation in Maine, Molly ventured into show business at an early age, following the example of many American Indians. Her success afforded her a vast range of experience - from performing vaudeville in New York and starring in the classic docu-drama The Silent Enemy to dancing for royalty and mingling with the literary elite in Europe. Independent and ambitious, Molly strove to succeed in the wider world without surrendering her heritage. Her determination led her to Paris, where she found an audience more appreciative of authentic Native dance than in the United States. There she fell into a passionate love affair with a French journalist who eventually persuaded Molly to marry him. The German occupation of France in 1940 forced Molly to leave her husband and, with their young daughter, flee the country on foot over the Pyrenees Mountains. What happens to this family, and then to Molly's career, turns her tale from triumph into tragedy. Molly Spotted Elk is important not only because of her life but also because she recorded it. Among her enduring achievements are her diaries - detailed and reflective records of her public and private experiences. These rare, personal documents of Native history shed light on the pressures she and her peers endured in having to act out white stereotypes of the "Indian".

384 pp ~ illustrated 1997



Item #

8080-612-989 softcover $14.95 $12.70 $2.25 Buy
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ISBN: 0806129891
CATEGORY: Biography/Autobio
September 1997
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