A Choice Outstanding Academic Title
Once the most powerful indigenous nation in the southeastern United States, the Cherokees survive and thrive as a people nearly two
centuries after the Trail of Tears and a hundred years after the allotment of Indian Territory. In Our Fire Survives the Storm, Daniel Heath Justice traces the expression of
Cherokee identity in that nation's literary tradition.
|"Justice makes an important, striking contribution to the growing body of tribal-centered criticism."|
"Justice writes well, and I recall someone's observing once that Sigmund Freud became influential not only for his theories but for the passionate, compelling prose with which he delivered them. Justice's passages about Nanye'hi (Nancy Ward) and Tsiyu Gansini (Dragging Canoe) are good examples of this. In terms of Justices articulating the dichotomy between the Chicamaugua (War Chief) tradition and the Beloved Path (Peace Chief) tradition, the portraits of Tsiyu and Nanye'hi are crucial. The stories of these two important Cherokee historical figures are compelling, and Justice's prose brings the story to life. Our Fire Survives the Storm is a good book, valuable for both libraries and classrooms."
— Great Plains Quarterly
"This book is a good resource for students, educators, writers and those interested in Cherokee culture."
— News From Indian Country
Through cycles of war and peace, resistance and assimilation, trauma and regeneration, Cherokees have long debated what it
means to be Cherokee through protest writings, memoirs, fiction, and retellings of traditional stories. Justice employs the Chickamauga consciousness of resistance and Beloved Path of
engagement--theoretical approaches that have emerged out of Cherokee social history--to interpret diverse texts composed in English, a language embraced by many as a tool of both access
Justice's analysis ultimately locates the Cherokees as a people of many perspectives mingled into a collective sense of nationhood. Just as the oral traditions of
the Cherokee people reflect the living realities and concerns of those who share them, Justice concludes, so too is their literary tradition a textual testament to Cherokee endurance
Daniel Heath Justice is assistant professor of aboriginal literatures at the University of Toronto.