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

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

LeAnne Howe is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation and a Professor of American Indian Studies and English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She writes fiction, poetry, screenplays, creative non-fiction, plays, and scholarship that primarily deal with American Indian experiences. Her short fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Fiction International, and Story among other journals and has been translated into French, Italian, German, Dutch, and Danish. Her novel, Shell Shaker (Aunt Lute Books, 2001), received an American Book Award in 2002. Equinoxes Rouge, the French translation, was the 2004 finalist for Prix Medici Estranger. She is the author of two additional titles from Aunt Lute, MIKO KINGS: AN INDIAN BASEBALL STORY (2007) and, most recently, CHOCTALKING ON OTHER REALITIES (2013). As a 2010 -2011 William J. Fulbright Scholar, Howe lived in Amman, Jordan to research her forthcoming novel. In 2012, she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas, and in December 2012, Howe received a USA Ford Fellowship to continue her research.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 221 pages
  • Publisher: Aunt Lute Books (October 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: #484,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steve McGaughey on January 11, 2008
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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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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A beautifully written story about a piece of United States history that I never knew about. It was assigned reading for a college class and I'm so glad it was. LeAnne Howe is a talented and thoughtful writer. I enjoyed the way she took me on a journey of discovery.
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My attention was snagged by the cover, which features a grainy black-and-white photograph of a game of baseball, the players wearing uniforms harking back at least a century. The subtitle - "An Indian Baseball Story" - clinched my purchase. My fascinations with both baseball and American Indians date back to my boyhood; they undoubtedly are highly romanticized, but that does not make them less compelling. Well, MIKO KINGS turned out to be more about American Indians than baseball, and it did not quite live up to my perhaps unreasonably high expectations.

Author LeAnne Howe is an American Indian, half Choctaw and half Sac and Fox. As a young woman she left the reservation in Oklahoma, with no intention of ever returning. After a career as a freelance journalist and a horrific experience in the Middle East, she returned to live in her grandmother's house.

In MIKO KINGS Howe mixes together elements of her own life and elements from the history of the Indian Territory along with generous doses of imagination, some akin to magical realism, to create this novel about an Indian baseball team from Ada, Oklahoma, the Miko Kings. The central event of the novel is the ninth and final game of the championship series in 1907 between the Miko Kings, champs of the Indian Territory League, and the Fort Sill Seventh Cavalrymen, winners of the Oklahoma Territory League. Will the Indians repeat their Little Bighorn vanquishment of the U.S. Seventh Cavalry? If so, they will have to do so on the arm of Hope Little Leader, their star pitcher who, legend tells us, was able to reverse the flight of the ball.
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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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