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The Lost Journals of Sacajewea por Debra…
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The Lost Journals of Sacajewea (edição 2023)

por Debra Magpie Earling (Autor)

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918298,583 (3.63)30
From the award-winning author of Perma Red comes a devastatingly beautiful novel that challenges prevailing historical narratives of Sacajewea."In my seventh winter, when my head only reached my Appe's rib, a White Man came into camp. Bare trees scratched sky. Cold was endless. He moved through trees like strikes of sunlight. My Bia said he came with bad intentions, like a Water Baby's cry."Among the most memorialized women in American history, Sacajewea served as interpreter and guide for Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery. In this visionary novel, acclaimed Indigenous author Debra Magpie Earling brings this mythologized figure vividly to life, casting unsparing light on the men who brutalized her and recentering Sacajewea as the arbiter of her own history.Raised among the Lemhi Shoshone, in this telling the young Sacajewea is bright and bold, growing strong from the hard work of "learning all ways to survive": gathering berries, water, roots, and wood; butchering buffalo, antelope, and deer; catching salmon and snaring rabbits; weaving baskets and listening to the stories of her elders. When her village is raided and her beloved Appe and Bia are killed, Sacajewea is kidnapped and then gambled away to Charbonneau, a French Canadian trapper.Heavy with grief, Sacajewea learns how to survive at the edge of a strange new world teeming with fur trappers and traders. When Lewis and Clark's expedition party arrives, Sacajewea knows she must cross a vast and brutal terrain with her newborn son, the white man who owns her, and a company of men who wish to conquer and commodify the world she loves.Written in lyrical, dreamlike prose, The Lost Journals of Sacajewea is an astonishing work of art and a powerful tale of perseverance-the Indigenous woman's story that hasn't been told.… (mais)
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I couldn't get into this. I really respect what Earling is doing, but I found it very difficult to read. First of all, she uses a lot of words that are never defined, so it's really hard to tell if a word is referring to a person or a concept or an object. I think I ultimately would have liked that, and would have liked to be forced to question whether the categories of "person", "concept", and "object" are meaningful, except it made it very difficult to understand what was going on. The bigger problem for me was that a lot of the book is written in a very choppy sentence structure, which to me ended up sounding like the Hollywood stereotype of "How, me Big Injun, smoke peace pipe, how." I gave up about 10% into the book.
  Gwendydd | Mar 24, 2024 |
I wanted this to be a journal showing how smart Sacajewea was and how much she knew over the white men, but in this rendition, the speech is short and choppy and IMHO doesn't make her look intelligent. She does manage to learn a lot of English, but she keeps the knowledge to herself and uses her insights to figure out the plans, but never really to guide the exploration. She has a tough life, kidnapped and made pregnant by white men, stolen from her husband and people. This is a rough read, and maybe that is the whole point. Her reality sucked. ( )
  Berly | Mar 21, 2024 |
I usually have problems with real historical people having fictional words put into their mouth. But here we have one of the most marginalized, yet mythologized historical figures that was barely mentioned in even the accounts of Lewis & Clark, who apparently needed her around for their benefit. But since Sacajewea was hardly allowed her own story, I'm willing to read a fictionalized story of Sacajewea written from a Native perspective, as this author is. Here, Sacajewea spends the early part of the book as a child with her family, but then is kidnapped by enemies and is forced to marry a white man. She stays in her husband's lodge until Lewis & Clark arrive. But this summary just makes it sound like the narrative is following the generic myth of Sacajewea. It is so much more. The book is difficult to read in all the ways, like making your way through a river of dead buffalo. I did not expect a historical person like Sacajewea to have a modern vernacular, and I appreciate the inventiveness of the writer here, but reading this is always work, at times it was a bit TOO confusing, with sometimes a few puzzling things even within one sentence. (I still haven't figured out what the "Ogres" represent...) But a narrative like this shouldn't be easy, by any means, for any of the reasons. For all its harshness and brutality, there is also a ton of beauty. If you can pick apart some of this, I don't think it could possibly be richer or fuller. If it were simpler, it might lean into cliche by default, no matter the skill of the writer. I ended up loving the confusion of what was spirit and what was not. There is a ton of memorable beautiful imagery here, but also some horrifying, miserable imagery as well. But I can see the reason: this isn't supposed to be the sugarcoated/myth/history book version from school. This is realistic. With this writer's power, she can make Sacajewea live in your heart. And I think that was the entire point.
*Book #147/340 I have read of the shortlisted Morning News Tournament of Books ( )
  booklove2 | Feb 24, 2024 |
I applaud the Author for her creative method and format. It is very hard to understand, figure out what is going on, but with perseverance you get it more, though for me it was never an enjoyable read. Sometimes it is "stream of consciousness" talk, sometimes poetic ramblings, sometimes it's about ghosts and indigenous mystics. Maybe if you're an indigenous person or expert in the languages it might be possible to read and understand this book, but given the huge number and variety of indigenous languages, we at least would need to know which one the Author is using. Or she could at least provide a dictionary/vocabulary list of a couple dozen important and heavily used words - Agai, Weta, Bia, Appe, Baida, etc. Sometimes peoples native names are like Bawitchuwa are used, sometimes it's the English version like Blue Elk. Is Corn Woman a real person or a mystical apparation? It's hard enough to keep track of who's who, but also we must speculate on what is real and what is supernatural.

Anyone interested in Sacajawea knows that most of what has been written is romanticized and the Author is rightly pointing out a more realistic picture of what a native women in this time experienced, but this is such a bleak story that it is hard for most readers to believe a human being could exist as she is portrayed.

I think Ms.Earling is probably a profoundly wise and interesting person totally immersed in her wonderful culture and history of her people, but unless she is writing only to people of similar backgrounds and knowledge, this book does not, in my opinion, teach or persuade the reader in understanding one of histories most amazing women. ( )
  ZachMontana | Feb 8, 2024 |
If you're American, you grew up with the story of the brave Indian maid who helped out Lewis and Clark on their journey across the western half of the American continent. What usually isn't included in the children's tale is that she was taken along as the enslaved chattel of their interpreter and that she was so, so young. Debra Magpie Earling tells the more complicated story here.

The book begins with Sacajawea's childhood, where her parents teach her about the world around her. Earling is doing something very interesting and difficult here -- her protagonist is from a society that is pre-literate and that has its own complicated spirituality based on nature. To recount Sacajewea's experiences in her own words is to enter a place where language is used differently, and while there is a note explaining what is intended, it was an effort for me to understand what is going on in beginning of the book. As Sacajawea grows up and as events in her life lead her into contact with both other tribes and with white men, her language changes accordingly, which was easier to follow, but also heartbreaking. This is not a happy story; it's full of beauty and poetry, but also full of pain as she is first kidnapped by a hostile tribe and then traded to a French Canadian when she is still a child. I admire what Earling has accomplished here, but I am not going to reread this one. ( )
2 vote RidgewayGirl | Feb 6, 2024 |
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From the award-winning author of Perma Red comes a devastatingly beautiful novel that challenges prevailing historical narratives of Sacajewea."In my seventh winter, when my head only reached my Appe's rib, a White Man came into camp. Bare trees scratched sky. Cold was endless. He moved through trees like strikes of sunlight. My Bia said he came with bad intentions, like a Water Baby's cry."Among the most memorialized women in American history, Sacajewea served as interpreter and guide for Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery. In this visionary novel, acclaimed Indigenous author Debra Magpie Earling brings this mythologized figure vividly to life, casting unsparing light on the men who brutalized her and recentering Sacajewea as the arbiter of her own history.Raised among the Lemhi Shoshone, in this telling the young Sacajewea is bright and bold, growing strong from the hard work of "learning all ways to survive": gathering berries, water, roots, and wood; butchering buffalo, antelope, and deer; catching salmon and snaring rabbits; weaving baskets and listening to the stories of her elders. When her village is raided and her beloved Appe and Bia are killed, Sacajewea is kidnapped and then gambled away to Charbonneau, a French Canadian trapper.Heavy with grief, Sacajewea learns how to survive at the edge of a strange new world teeming with fur trappers and traders. When Lewis and Clark's expedition party arrives, Sacajewea knows she must cross a vast and brutal terrain with her newborn son, the white man who owns her, and a company of men who wish to conquer and commodify the world she loves.Written in lyrical, dreamlike prose, The Lost Journals of Sacajewea is an astonishing work of art and a powerful tale of perseverance-the Indigenous woman's story that hasn't been told.

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