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


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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 (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Mann on January 10, 2008
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Peterson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Noel Schraufnagel on April 8, 2008
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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