The Singing Bird: A Cherokee Novel

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University of Oklahoma Press, 2007 - Fiction - 185 pages
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A rediscovered novel portrays Cherokees in transition

John Milton Oskison was a mixed-blood Cherokee known for his writing and his activism on behalf of Indian causes. The Singing Bird, never before published, is quite possibly the first historical novel written by a Cherokee.

Set in the 1840s and ’50s, when conflict erupted between the Eastern and Western Cherokees after their removal to Indian Territory, The Singing Bird relates the adventures and tangled relationships of missionaries to the Cherokees, including the promiscuous, selfish Ellen, the “Singing Bird” of the title. The fictional characters mingle with such historical figures as Sequoyah and Sam Houston, embedding the novel in actual events.

The Singing Bird is a vivid account of the Cherokees’ genius for survival and celebrates Native American cultural complexity and revitalization.


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About the author (2007)

John Milton Oskison (1874-1947) was a distinguished New York editor and published five books, including Tecumseh and His Times .

Timothy B. Powell is author of Ruthless Democracy: A Multicultural Interpretation of the American Renaissance .

Melinda Smith Mullikin is a former media editor for The New Georgia Encyclopedia .

Jace Weaver is Franklin Professor of Native American Studies and Religion at the University of Georgia. He is the author of The Red Atlantic: American Indigenes and the Making of the Modern World, 1000-1927.

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