The first work of fiction published in the new Native American Series, Indian Summers concerns issues of identity for Native Americans. Set against the backdrop of a contemporary reservation that has had its own losses to the dominant culture -- a third of its total land mass taken earlier in the century for a New York State water reservoir, its only religious structures Christian churches -- Indian Summers introduces these identity conflicts through the lives and circumstances of its major characters. This is a time when belonging to a tribe is difficult, when dominant societal forces encourage either the acts of abandoning a perceived anachronistic lifestyle or of embracing one of a number of simplistic, prescribed, false identities: warrior, environmentalist, crystal-carrying shaman. None of these options is real for the individuals who populate these pockets of different -- not alternative -- societies. The people who live these lives do not explore alternatives, nor do they necessarily have the desire to -- inextricably entwined as they are with their families, culture, history, and land.
220 pp — ©1998