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Katie Gale: A Coast Salish Woman's Life on Oyster Bay Hardcover – October 1, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review




The book is a masterpiece of creative interpretation of extensive archival work, as Gale left no diaries or letters. Clearly, De Danaan is moved by Gale's life and legacy. "Surely my life is as insubstantial, as ephemeral, as was Katie's. I will become like her, another mostly anonymous wraith, a specter who will walk the shores with all the others."
But De Danaan underestimates her work; this volume is an act of resurrection, well worth the contemporary reader's immersion in another life and time.
Annie Dawid -High Country News  June 23, 2014

"You are drawn into her life from the very first page as each political, economic or cultural example provides a snapshot of life. It It is not just a biography of Katie Gale's life as LLyn De Danaan situates her narrative soundly in Coast Salish history, and how it is influenced and changed by American history. "  Jacky Moore -Women's History Review,  June 30, 2014

Katie Gale’s story is unique in its scale; few accounts of the nineteenth-century Northwest focus on the life of a single Native woman and her family. LLyn De Danaan’s writing is big history made deeply human, offering insights not just into Native American history but also into the arrival of industrial capitalism on Puget Sound, the politics of statehood and race in Washington, and the profound transformation of local landscapes.”—Coll Thrush, author of Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place
(Coll Thrush 2013-03-05)

“I have followed LLyn De Danaan’s writing path for years now. She is talented and bold, and this new book puts her firmly where she belongs—at the heart of the American voice. Good stuff, highly recommended.”—Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Devil’s Highway and Into the Beautiful North
(Luis Alberto Urrea 2013-03-05)

"This volume is an act of resurrection, well worth the contemporary reader's immersion in another life and time."—Annie Dawid, High Country News (Annie Dawid High Country News 2014-06-23)

"Katie Gale offers an imaginative reflection on human dignity and resilience."—Lisa Blee, Western Historical Quarterly
(Lisa Blee Western Historical Quarterly)

About the Author

LLyn De Danaan is a writer and an anthropologist. She contributed to the book Vashon Island Archaeology: A View from Burton Acres Shell Midden, and her articles have appeared in Women’s Studies Quarterly, Columbia: The Magazine of Northwest History, and Oregon Historical Quarterly.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803237871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803237872
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,243,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

LLyn De Danaan is the author of Katie Gale: A Coast Salish Woman's Life on Oyster Bay. She occasionally writes for roots music blogs and her own (www.llyndedanaan.com) and is a regular contributor to CHOICE, the academic library review magazine. She writes both non-fiction historical and anthropological essays and fiction. Her most well known and acclaimed short works are Conversations with the Inner Dog and Koans for the Inner Dog. She has been a research consultant for Washington Indian tribes since 1991. As a result of this work, she collaborated on several social studies curricula, produced in partnership with Indian educators and the Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction's office. She was a recipient of the Washington State Historical Society's Peace and Friendship award in recognition of her role in fostering an understanding of Washington's cultural diversity. Her field work experience includes ethnographic work with farm laborers in Yakima Valley, long term projects in Sarawak and Kelantan, Malaysia, and short term work in Thailand and Rajasthan, India. She collaborated in the documentation of Transylvanian winter ceremonials during a Fulbright fellowship in Romania 2006-2007. Her recent Mountain of Shell project focuses on the life and work of the Japanese and Japanese American community on Oyster Bay, Washington. An article based on this work appeared in the Winter 2012 Columbia Magazine. Her nonfiction book, Katie Gale: A Coast Salish Woman's Life on Oyster Bay (University of Nebraska Press) was released October 1, 2013. De Danaan, aka Lynn Patterson, grew up in Ohio. She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sarawak, Malaysia, 1962-64. She worked for the Xenia Daily Gazette before attending Ohio State University where she graduated cum laude and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She sings and plays guitar and clarinet and lives on Oyster Bay, Washington State. She is emeritus faculty of The Evergreen State College where she taught from its inception until 2001.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carol McKinley on January 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover
LLyn De Danaan’s impeccable historical and anthropological research bring to life the southern Puget Sound world Katie Gale, her family and neighbors inhabited. Although Katie Gale is replete with information on Coast Salish culture and the Euro-American influences that impinged on that culture , it is not only an anthropological study or historical account. Rather, it is the story of the intersection of two lives, separated by more than a century, that shared a particular spot on this earth.

This is the theme DeDanaan returns to throughout this account of Katie Gale’s life and world: “My home, my life, this part of the earth I call mine, is populated with ancient souls not unlike my own,… They lived and died doing the best they could and left faint footprints in their passing.” pp 242, 243)

I, too, live on the Salish Sea; I am grateful for the reminder that generations before me have looked upon these slate-colored waters, have marveled at Mt. Tahoma emerging from clouds to dominate the eastern horizon, that others’ souls have gone before me. Now I can put a name, a face, to one of those souls, and feel I know more completely the world she inhabited.

Read this book. You will not only learn much about the Coast Salish culture, but be called to reflect on the relationships each of us has with the small piece of this planet we call home.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Susan Day on November 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
No book has captured my attention more than Katie Gale: A Coast Salish Woman on Oyster Bay. This carefully documented story follows Katie Gale, a Native American from western Washington and the Puget Sound (Salish Sea) from her childhood, through the Indian Wars and the period of assimilation thereafter, up to her death at the near turn of the 19th Century. The author, who also lives on Oyster Bay, brings to life the people and the times on Oyster Bay in western Washington. While this is the story of one small community, and in particular, one Salish Indian woman's transition from living among the communal First People of Puget Sound to becoming a self-sufficient business woman in a growing European-American culture, it is far more. It is a retrospective look at the impact of the Westward Movement, Medicine Creek Treaty, and the unfolding of the socio-economic and political institutions that thrive today. It is the story of the steps to assimilation of one culture into another. It is filled with description that creates a near-three dimensional view of Oyster Bay and the life of the immigrants and the First People along the shores of Puget Sound. It is also a love story between a 21st Century writer and the spirit of a 19th Century woman whose grave she discovered in the brambles at Oyster Bay.
De Danaan's writing style is prosaic. Through her writing, she draws the reader into the story WITH her as a silent observer. She is very much a part of her book and the story of Katie Gale. I was reluctant reach the end of the book. I read every footnote, the Afterward, the timeline, and the bibliography to glean as much as I could from her. I felt compelled to read more about the people and the events of the period she describes so deftly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Maddux on November 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
It's got to be almost impossible to write a biography of a woman who died more than a century ago, left no letters, and appears in only a few pioneer accounts. And yet it's easy to see how Katie Gale captivated writer LLyn De Danaan. And De Danaan, in turn, captivates the reader with the story of a feisty native woman who ran a successful oyster business. Her story encompasses Katie's birth close to the time of the treaties in which the Western Washington native people surrendered their land and many of their rights, her arrival on Oyster Bay, and her marriage to a white entrepreneur whom she helped get started in his shellfish business, and the failure of that marriage. De Danaan's background as a historian who worked with South Puget Sound tribes, a writer, an activist on behalf of women, and—perhaps especially—a resident of Oyster Bay equip her uniquely to tell Katie's story. She sets it in the context of the ever-changing shellfish industry and the social environment in which Native Americans and women alike had a long road ahead before they would see anything like equality. De Danaan makes that point without being strident. Her book is much more than biography and local history; the implications of Katie Gale's story spread as wide as the waters on which she lived and worked.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mother Folker on January 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Incredibly well-researched but the details are far from overwhelming. Instead, the writing is lyrical and poetic, creating a full, rich character out of bones (literally). Women's stories, and certainly native women's stories, are so often swept under the rug of history. You'll be amazed at what Katie Gale was able to do and what she went through. Don't even think about it! If you've got any interest in native history, anthropology, or the pacific northwest, you MUST read this book!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By dottravels on November 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is an fascinating account of the life in a small oyster village in Washington State as the local indians lives are transformed by US government policy and the arrival of European settlers. The author throughly documents her findings while weaving a description of the possible life of a stong, independent Salish woman who successfully builds an oyster business with her white husband. The facts of the story come from Court documents related to their divorce actions in court and her fighting for ownership of her land. I think every citizen should read this to learn the real impact of the "Medicine Creek Treaty" and government attempts to "assimilate" the "savages."
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