Conversations with LeAnne Howe
The first collection of interviews with the innovative and critically acclaimed Choctaw writer who is known for her striking books, plays, and poetry depicting the Native American experience
Conversations with LeAnne Howe is the first collection of interviews with the groundbreaking Choctaw author, whose genre-bending works take place in the US Southeast, Oklahoma, and beyond our national borders to bring Native American characters and themes to the global stage. Best known for her American Book Award–winning novel Shell Shaker (2001), LeAnne Howe (b. 1951) is also a poet, playwright, screenwriter, essayist, theorist, and humorist. She has held numerous honors including a Fulbright Distinguished Scholarship in Amman, Jordan, from 2010 to 2011, and she was the recipient of the Modern Language Association’s first Prize for Studies in Native American Literatures, Cultures, and Languages for her travelogue, Choctalking on Other Realities (2013).
Spanning the period from 2002 to 2020, the interviews in this collection delve deeply into Howe’s poetics, her innovative critical methodology of tribalography, her personal history, and her position on subjects ranging from the Lone Ranger to Native American mascots. Two previously unpublished interviews, “‘An American in New York’: LeAnne Howe” (2019) and “Genre-Sliding on Stage with LeAnne Howe” (2020), explore unexamined areas of her personal history and how it impacted her creative work, including childhood trauma and her incubation as a playwright in the 1980s. These conversations along with 2019’s Occult Poetry Radio interview also give important insights on the background of Howe’s newest critically acclaimed work, Savage Conversations (2019), about Mary Todd Lincoln’s hallucination of a “Savage Indian” during her time in Bellevue Place sanitarium. Taken as a whole, Conversations with LeAnne Howe showcases the development and continued impact of one of the most important Indigenous American writers of the twenty-first century.
"LeAnne Howe's wit, wide range of interests, and pithy analysis of issues related to race, politics, and interpretations make her a particularly compelling interviewee, and Kirstin Squint's edited collection gives readers the opportunity to learn, through a more conversational approach, from one of Native America's greatest writers and theorists. . . . The humor and history Howe brings to this collection makes the conversation a delight to enter, and a joy to learn from as well."- Nicole Dib, .American indian Quarterly
"An excellent read."- James Mackay, Native American and Indigenous Studies