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Native American Autobiography Redefined

A Handbook

Stephanie A. Sellers

Autobiographical stories, widely popular since their creation, are still one of the primary ethnographic and historic sources on Native North American individuals. Many books in this genre, including the famous Black Elk Speaks, have been translated into numerous languages. Native American Autobiography Redefined: A Handbook interrogates critical discussions about Native American autobiographies and challenges their often Eurocentric perspectives: it offers a new rubric for studying the genre, dismantles misperceptions about indigenous peoples, and analyzes in detail a non-biased, Native-centered example of writing about Native American autobiography. This book asks readers to move away from the western cultural notion of «autobiography» to a Native American cultural perspective of «communal narrative.» Special emphasis is given to issues of gender bias and to the great disparity between Eastern Woodlands and western culture’s perceptions of women.