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Men on the Moon: Collected Short Stories (Sun Tracks) Hardcover – July 1, 1999

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ortiz (After and Before the Lightning) is best known as a foremost contemporary Native American poet; his short fiction, written with a poetic emphasis on dense, potent language, is collected here for the first time. These 26 storiesApenned between the late '60s and the early '80sAdemonstrate the diversity of Native experience in modern America. Speaking in homage to, and solidarity with, his own Acoma Pueblo heritage, the author depicts American Indians in a wide range of social and geographic settings, from reservations to urban landscape. Many tales are melancholy, as they trace the fates of maligned, misunderstood and often visionary characters. In the title story, an aged Pueblo man watches television for the first time, sees astronauts walk on the moon and senses a sudden, irreversible loss of mystery. A young war widow takes a job at an Indian boarding school and must say good-bye to family and friends in the short "Home Country." Another tale, set in Oklahoma, juxtaposes generations in another way, as two brothers listen to an old drunk tell the story of Tecumseh's war; they know that Indians today need a new vision of themselves, another story that can build a powerful Indian identity. A sense of gentleness and wonder pervades the piece in which a father builds his son his first kite and watches the boy's exhilaration. The language of these rich narratives reflect both Ortiz's poetic gift and his intimate knowledge of oral storytelling. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In this collection of 26 short stories, Ortiz, best known for his poetry (Going for the Rain), again carries his readers to the worlds of the Pueblo, whether on the reservation or in cities, VA hospitals, or boarding schools. The stories are about the land and about those who are or are not a part of the land. In the moving "To Change Life in a Good Way," a Pueblo couple's spirituality helps an Okie couple cope with grief. "What Indians Do" and "You Were Real, the White Radical Said to Me" are stories about the power of storytelling itself. A native of the Acoma Pueblo, Ortiz has taught writing at numerous universities and colleges throughout the country. These short stories were originally published in Howbah Indians (1978) and Fightin': New and Collected Stories (1983).AMary Margaret Benson, Linfield Coll. Lib., McMinnville, OR
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Sun Tracks (Book 37)
  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press; First Edition edition (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816519293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816519293
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,221,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By taking a rest HALL OF FAME on May 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Simon J. Ortiz's work, "Men On The Moon", is a collection of three earlier groups of his short stories. The tales are not just of contemporary Native American life but also of their History, and specifically their History with the, "Mericano".
The History of Native Americans cannot be written without the experience of loss, displacement, internment, and racism to mention just a few. The Native Americans are one of the Genocides that this Country is responsible for, and even though we who made read this History took no part in the atrocities, we also are the only ones who can make amends. Those responsible, the dead, are not terribly productive.
These stories are not complaints nor are they a cry for pity. They are each brief statements of fact that no matter how tragic maintain a sense of hope. Justice, fairness, acknowledgement of the crimes committed against them are perhaps some of the redress they illustrate/seek.
The book is not grim; it is full of irony, sardonic moments, and even humor. The short story that is also the title for the book is wonderful. An elderly man muses about the first information he sees on viewing his first TV. A series of questions follow with answers from a younger family member. If NASA had to answer these questions as put forward by this wise old sage, the groping for answers would be amusing, and the space program would be doubtful. I don't believe the Author was actually questioning the merits of the space program, rather illustrating how easily things may happen despite failing the most basic of queries.
There are stories of heroic service for the United States during her wars, and too there is a story of one man that went to prison rather than serve. I mention these as I found this book very balanced.
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By A Customer on September 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
When I read this book, Simon Ortiz's voice came from the pages. Simon Ortiz writes like he speaks and his stories are rich and beautiful. As a student of his I have had the unique opportunity of hearing many of these stories orally, but they have not lost their beauty and depth being written down. If you like this book, check out Simon Ortiz's poetry. You won't be disappointed.
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This collection of short stories is all hits, some of them are singles, some homers, but none of them are outs (yes I'm a baseball fan.) As other reviewers have said, it is about the contemporary Native American life, but not just on the "rez." It has stories about the acculturation experience in the urban areas of the west, as well as some stories about recollections of life in the late 1800's. Most of the stories deal with the relationship between the Anglos and the Natives, although at least one is from the point of view of an Easterner who came west and is viewing a ceremony. There is life, death, happiness, sadness and emotions of the characters in the stories.
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I’ve bought other things from this writer and your questions about his work are just dumb. But the book itself and the stories in it are fine. Stop with asking questions about sex an violence and ask about quality of writing.
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