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Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story Paperback – September 1, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

An enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Howe is an author, playwright, and scholar. Her first novel, Shell Shaker, earned her a 2002 American Book Award and a Wordcraft Circle Writer of the Year in Creative Prose Award. She is currently an associate professor at the University of Illinois, Champaigne-Urbana.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 221 pages
  • Publisher: Aunt Lute Books (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879960788
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879960787
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm afraid the book's topics of baseball and Native American culture may cause some people to overlook it, which is too bad because this is a beautifully written, original work that is so much more than its story elements. Physics, spirituality, personal and cultural transformation and redemption are all here, told in a way I haven't seen before by a gifted writer. It will appeal to women, baseball fans, those who appreciate Native American culture and history and anyone who enjoys good writing and a good story told in a truly unique way. It is at its heart, I think, a metaphor for the Indians' epxerience in America, with a style that reminds me of writers like Leslie Silko or Larry McMurtry. Howe has two qualities one doesn't often find as a combination in a writer - the ability to write in a seemingly effortless yet memorable way and to tell a story in a truly original way. The storyline includes shifting narratives told in non-chronoligical order and even includes diaries and newspaper clippings that are used to accomplish a brilliant bit of storytelling. She treats her readers as intelligent people who can follow along even on an unconventional path. Halfway through I was wondering `will she be able to tie all of these threads together?' And of course she did beautifully with a harsh yet touching, real but spiritual ending that still has me thinking about what it means months later.
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Format: Paperback
Miko Kings is a treasure for all readers. LeAnne Howe weaves a spellbinding story of Native American baseball in the rough and tumble early days of Oklahoma statehood. However, Miko Kings is far more than a story of baseball, opposing cultures, generational splits, and time condensation. It is story of acceptance among clashing cultures, understanding between Native American generations, and a look at baseball as a philosophy of life. Howe's efforts constitute a bold contribution to Native American writing. Miko Kings and Shell Shaker offer a singular shining light for all Native Americans to ponder their past, present, and future.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Miko Kings is a unique book in literary history. The author's seamless blending of history, spirituality, linguistics, colloquialism, personal memoir and so much more provides a multi-layered text that fascinates even as it informs, corrects and offers consolation. Those assuming that this is only a regional tale for Oklahomans, or just another Indian story, will be impressed the way the text speaks fairly and authoritatively about the past as well as to a contemporary world.
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Format: Paperback
The 1907 season of the Miko Kings, a baseball team of Native Americans, is considered from several perspectives. The pitcher, Hope Little Leader, remembers events of the memorable season from a nursing home in 1969. Other aspects of the era are presented by Lena Coulter in 2006. She is visited by the ghost of Ezol Day, a female postal worker and a Choctaw ancestor of Lena, who died in a fire in Ada, Oklahoma, shortly after the Twin Territories Series between the Miko Kings and the white soldiers of Fort Sill's Seventh Cavalry in the fall of 1907. The actual events of the Series are blurred by time and the movie version made by Carl Laemmle, a real-life producer who actually released a fourteen-minute film in 1909 called "His Last Game." In the novel, Hope Little Leader is cast as pitcher Choctaw Bill. A subplot focuses on the love affair between Little Leader and Justina Maurepas that began at the Hampton Normal School for Blacks and Indians. Maurepas, of mixed ethnic heritage, eventually became known as Black Juice, a notorious crusader for racial justice. The emphasis, though, is on the adaptation of baseball to Native American culture--a process that began long before Europeans arrived in America. The book should appeal to a sophisticated audience, including fans of baseball, literature, and history.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
LeAnne Howe's MIKO KINGS truly represents a new direction in Native American fiction. She takes the manipulation of time to the next level, seamlessly moving through different temporal spaces and different characters' perspectives, and despite these quick shifts, I never got lost. In the Native American novels of past decades, many writers have worked with a distinctly Indian sense of time, one that isn't linear, one that folds in upon itself, and here, Howe has created an experience in which time has extra wrinkles.

The use of found documents, fantastical elements, and the seldom-covered topic of baseball in Indian Country really make this a special book. I didn't grow completely attached to all the characters in the small space of the book, which was its only drawback, but otherwise, this is an impressive achievement and I look forward to unpacking it once again when I re-read it. This book is much like the bag full of documents that Lena discovers at the book's beginning: so rich with information to decode.
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