Supernatural forces : belief, difference, and power in contemporary works by ethnic women /
Bonnie Winsbro.
Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, c1993.
xi, 218 p. ; 24 cm.
0870238795 (cloth : alk. paper) 0870238809 (pbk. : alk. paper)
More Details
Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, c1993.
0870238795 (cloth : alk. paper) 0870238809 (pbk. : alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 191-210) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1994-05:
Winsbro seeks to analyze the interplay of ethnic self-definition and belief in spiritual reality in writings by American women. She defines "ethnic" as perceived difference from a dominant group; the writers here are Appalachian, African American, American Indian, and Asian American. The book's strength is its close reading of texts by Toni Morrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, Louise Erdrich, Leslie Silko, Gloria Naylor, and Lee Smith that may (still) be unfamiliar to the general reader. However, the explication relies on speculation, as if characters were real people with possible lives outside the text. Analysis remains superficial: various bits from religious or "spiritual" systems are discussed discretely, with little sense of any tradition as a whole. Witchcraft, magic, monotheism, polytheism, folklore, theology--all are treated as equivalent. Also dismaying for a discussion of distinctive ethnicities is failure to distinguish terms as used in different traditions--e.g., there is no explanation of the different meanings for "witch" in Appalachian folk belief and in Ojibwa shamanism, when characters from both backgrounds are labeled as witches. Undergraduate; general. H. Jaskoski; California State University, Fullerton
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, May 1994
Reference & Research Book News, May 1994
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Table of Contents
Belief, Ethnicity, and Self-Definitionp. 3
A Witch and Her Curse: External Definition and Uncrossable Boundaries in Lee Smith's Owl Historyp. 26
Predator, Scavenger, and Trickster-Transformer: Survival and the Visionary Experience in Louise Erdrich's Tracksp. 52
Calling Tayo Back, Unraveling Coyote's Skin: Individuation in Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremonyp. 82
Modern Rationality and the Supernatural: Bridging Two Worlds in Gloria Naylor's Mama Dayp. 109
The Ghost as Demon and Savior: Confrontation with the Past in Toni Morrison's Belovedp. 129
Warring with Ghosts: Power through Individuation in Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warriorp. 154
Boundaries and Beliefp. 181
Notesp. 191
Indexp. 211
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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