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Power: A Novel (Norton Paperback Fiction) Paperback – November 17, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Norton Paperback Fiction
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (November 17, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393319687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393319682
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In this coming-of-age story, a 16-year-old Native American girl named Omishito (a Tiaga name meaning One Who Watches) inadvertently witnesses the hunting and killing of her clan's sacred animal, the Florida panther. What makes this especially troubling and complicated for Omishito is that her beloved spiritual mentor, Ama, is the panther's murderer. At first, Omishito cannot fathom why Ama, a tribal elder who still practices the old powers, would commit this sacrilege and risk the wrath of her tribe and country. (Unlike the Tiaga tribe, the Florida panther is considered endangered and therefore federally protected.) Through seamless storytelling and expert scene building, Linda Hogan reveals the many-layered mysteries inherent in this novel (based on a true story) as well as the powerful forces that endanger Native Americans and the survival of their spirituality. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Sixteen-year-old Omishita Eaton and her adoptive Aunt Ama, the main characters of Chickasaw Indian Hogan's (Solar Storms) thought-provoking new bildungsroman, are members of the fictional Taiga tribe of Florida, a dwindling group down to its last 30 members. After a devastating hurricane, Ama and the girl track a wounded deer into the swamps, using it as a stalking horse to hunt a panther, an animal sacred to the Taiga. Ama kills the cat, a scrawny, flea-bitten example of its species, and is charged with poaching and violations of the Endangered Species Act. The event tears the Taiga community apart. Most castigate her for slaying the sacred animal, but Omishita stands by her. Though Ama's motives are never made entirely clear, there are intimations that she undertook the taboo act in the hope of sparking a regeneration not only of the Taiga culture but of all Creation itself. Hogan is known principally as a poet, and the current work reflects that vocation in her lyrical, almost mystical use of language. The novel is about two different ways of knowing the world and the problems that ensue when these ways come into conflict. Though slow at times, this is nonetheless a novel of gentle rewards.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

A Chickasaw mustang and a wild burro live with me. We are three sisters.

I am fortunate enough to have had funding from The Lannan Foundation, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was one of three finalists for a Pulitzer when John Updike received it. It was my first novel, MEAN SPIRIT. My other books have all received awards or nominations. PEOPLE OF THE WHALE has been very popular in Taiwan and China, POWER is for both adult and younger audiences. SOLAR STORMS included both the James Bay HydroQuebec project and the subject of adoption in Indian communities. Traveling the world comes with this unexpected life as a writer, from a childhood of depression which lacked privilege enough to go to school. I did, however, become a Professor in Creative Writing and Native Studies. I am now giving readings, lectures, workshops, and just finished a new novel, and loving the unique Chickasaw pony, rare in this world as beautiful poetry.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Review excerpts

REVIEWS:
CLEAVER Magazine Issue #6

DARK. SWEET.: NEW & SELECTED POEMS
by Linda Hogan 
Coffee House Press, 421 pages
reviewed by Amanda Hickok
Opening Linda Hogan's Dark. Sweet. is like coming upon the entrance to a dark cave and striking a match to find the interior covered in Paleolithic paintings. Her imagery is primordial--simple, direct representations of the natural world that recur throughout her poetry to tell and retell the history and oral stories of the Chickasaw, her own personal history, and her concerns for the present. The same images are reused and recast with each poem, accumulating new layers of meaning as her writing progresses from the late '70s to the present day. The reader is steeped in her distinct personal symbology--a poetic world bursting with animal and plant life, ubiquitous water and sky, fragmented bodies, houses, and cities, and glimpses of tribal communities against the antithetical contemporary American society.
Also like entering a Paleolithic cave, reading Hogan's poetry is like uncovering a record of a lost world--a world that exists in the memory of the poet, in her personal and cultural history, but also in the cultural history of America and the dark recesses of our collective unconscious. It is a faded and fragmented record the past, the fossilized shell from which our contemporary society has emerged but can neither recover nor completely shed. Hogan's poetry, though heavily tinged with the despondency of loss, resists the complete annihilation of this continually threatened world in the desire to recover and retain its stories--to keep it alive, if only in the mind, through the preservation of memories. Her poetry attempts to preserve a sense of identity or community when the physical space of those formative places and experiences has been stolen or destroyed and the memories have become increasingly distant.....

This is a poet deeply in love with humanity and the natural world, who projects a hopeful vision of the future--one in which our capacity for empathy and compassion will be recovered, in which we will overcome our fragmented associations with humanity and the world around us in which people and land are merely a means to an end, either useful or disposable in the accumulation of wealth and power. Hogan's poetry is hopeful that by reconnecting with the whole body, the whole person, the whole earth, it is possible to overcome the pain of homelessness--to become, perhaps, like the turtle. She asks, in the final poem:
How far do we have to go, how far is it
to the holy springs, the first water,
the first bone of our creation,
to compassion for all in that beginning
human marrow?
In our present society--wrought with the alienating affects of capitalism, urbanization, gentrification, and environmental degradation--this is not a question to take lightly.


review from Woman Who Watches
Publishers Weekly
Forecast: Deep and full of grace, Hogan's writing is every bit as good as ever. Anyone who knows anything about Native American writing will rush
Publishers Weekly:

Novelist (Mean Spirit) and poet (Seeing Through the Sun) Hogan branches into nonfiction with this slender volume of meditations on the natural world. She successfully couples a poet's appreciation of phrasing and rhythm with Native American sensibilities and stories. Throughout, Hogan exquisitely examines both natural and internal landscapes. She writes beautifully about animals without anthropomorphizing them and, in so doing, explores what it means to be human. Herself a Chickasaw, Hogan is able to bring a diverse cultural perspective to her analysis of how people relate to nature. She concludes, ``We must wonder what of value can ever be spoken from lives that are lived outside of life, without a love or respect for the land and other lives.'' Although 11 of the 16 essays have been previously published, they come together to form an invigorating whole. Author tour. (Aug.)
Book Review
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Power
Linda Hogan
W. W. Norton 08/98 Hardcover $23.00
ISBN: 0-393-04636-2


In her third novel, Linda Hogan honors mystery as a sacred force in the lives of Native Americans. The narrator of this lyrical and enthralling work is Omishto, a sixteen-year-old member of the dwindling Taiga tribe in the Florida wilderness. Although she lives with her Americanized mother, stepfather, and sister, this sensitive and strong-willed young girl spends most of her time with Aunt Ama, a fearless outsider who lives in the woods and is in constant touch with the spirit world.
Omishto is with her during a hurricane that sends deer flying and uproots a five-hundred-year-old tree. Then Aunt Ama in a trance-like state leads her through the woods where she kills a panther, her animal ally and the tribe's sacred ancestor. Omishto, who watches everything and sees deeply into what is going on around her, knows nothing will ever be the same again.
Ama is put on trial for killing an endangered Florida animal and also faces the elders who believe she has broken tribal law. Realizing that she will never see her beloved mentor again, Omishto exiles herself from the white world. She wrestles with Ama's legacy and gives herself to the mystery of the natural world. Linda Hogan's Power presents an incredibly convincing and moving portrait of Native American spirituality.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________


I worked for the Chickasaw Nation, my own people, writing a booklet on our maps, two performance pieces, visiting and teaching classes, doing historical research and seeing our ancient bodies returned to this earth i love and about which I write.
I love to write poetry, essays, and novels, and also the magical experience of teaching others to do the same. My work is strong on environment and traditional ecosystem knowledge. I am fortunate enough to have had funding from The Lannan Foundation, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was one of three finalists for a Pulitzer when John Updike received it. It was my first novel, MEAN SPIRIT. My other books have all received awards or nominations. PEOPLE OF THE WHALE is most popular in Taiwan, POWER is for adult and younger audiences, as well. SOLAR STORMS included both the James Bay HydroQuebec project and the subject of adoption in Indian communities. Traveling the world comes with this unexpected life as a writer, from a childhood of depression which lacked privilege enough to go to school. I did, however, become a Professor in Creative Writing and Native Studies. I am now giving readings, lectures, workshops writing a new novel, and loving the unique Chickasaw pony, rare in this world as beautiful poetry. I worked for the Chickasaw Nation, my own people, writing a booklet on our maps, two performance pieces, visiting and teaching classes, doing historical research and seeing our ancient bodies returned to this earth i love and about which I write.

The new book, DARK. SWEET. is receiving favorable so far. Thank you, everyone.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Sydow (wsydow@aspensys.com) on December 14, 1998
Format: Hardcover
In this story, there is a storm, a panther is killed, and there are two trials--one in a courthouse about the death of an animal protected by the Endangered Species Act and one among the Taiga elders, who abide by the old ways, on whether the killing was conducted in accordance with tribal law. We experience these events through the eyes, ears, body, and mind of 16 yr old Omishto as she accompanies her adult friend and "teacher," Ama, on a journey she knows is wrong but inevitable, experiences the chasm between the old and new ways of living for the Taiga people, and seeks to understand her own place in a chaotic and dying world. Linda Hogan's masterful writing led me to read this book with my heart, not my mind. This story is an exquisite masterpiece.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 9, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Of all Linda Hogan's three novels, this is her finest, with a mesmerizing lyrical voice, a young Native American narrator who is coming of age in a time when tribal and environmental law are in conflict. This story of Omishto, the One Who Watches, the endangered Florida panther, a hurricane which reveals family and tribal truths -- is elegantly told and a real page-turner. The courtroom drama at the center of the book, is more fascinating than that of Snow Falling on Cedars (David Guterson's recent bestseller). And I found the descriptions of place, people, and Native American vision and a rebirth of a culture of both panther and tribe to be deeply inspiring. This is one of my all-time favorite novels, and I bet it will be a classic.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Franklin O. Pratt on June 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
Ms. Hogan has woven a tale that is a tapestry both complex and deceptively simple in focus. For many, this story could be told with other than Native symbology, from the point of view of living honestly and the struggles within the lives we inhabit, be it home, work, family, neighborhood, or, most importantly, self. She illustrates with reverance how deeply connected we are to all of creation and how, when we seek meaning in our lives in indifference to all of creation, how separate and fearful our beliefs can become. This is carefully illustrated by Ms. Hogan through the duplicitous nature of many of the characters (not unlike any of us) interacting with the young woman of this story. The fear Ms. Hogan exposes throughout the telling of this story is that which is held in many hearts when confronted with how we have moved from living with respect for life to the group-held belief and reality that being human is separate and above the rest of creation. This book tells of old ways which compel a young woman to herself, which is, in my view, both particular to this story and potentially to any reader that "sees" similar to that of the young Native woman whose story this book reveals. Ms. Hogan speaks of that which is authentic, sacred, and true. The book has much to say, but it also draws the landscape of the Florida swamps with its heat and searing presence indelibly in the readers mind. The book confirms the truth of life as an immutable force larger than any of our efforts to ignore it. I am grateful to have read her work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kaya McLaren on August 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
Hogan's voice is unique, poetic, fluid, and very rooted in nature. In both POWER and SOLAR STORMS, she explores the complexity of relationships with our own culture, the natural world, and the spirit world, creating rich and multi-dimensional stories. Both of these books have been beautiful experiences for me that leave me wanting to share them with everyone. All my friends will be receiving POWER for their birthday this year.
Kaya McLaren, author of CHURCH OF THE DOG, ON THE DIVINITY OF SECOND CHANCES, and HOW I CAME TO SPARKLE AGAIN
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Johnson on January 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
One of the best stories I've ever read, told in gripping first-person narrative by teenager Omishto, a smart but isolated young woman caught between two worlds: modern, westernized America and the ancient Taiga Indian swamps. I never before understood the beauty of Florida wetlands until Ms. Hogan put pen to paper. When Omishto is caught in a hurricane, the description is so vivid you can feel the wind and water against your skin....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chester Corpt on April 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Linda Hogan is a strong, imaginative writer who captures the voice of a young girl on the borderland of two Americas, white and Indian.
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