THE ROPE CATCHER
by Larry Stillman
Larry Stillman’s THE ROPE CATCHER is now available on Amazon.com in hard cover and Kindle edition.
It is April of 1942 and 28-year-old Jimmie Goodluck leads an aimless existence on the Navajo reservation, where he knows only poverty, prejudice and lack of opportunity. Everything changes when he hears a Marine Corps recruitment message on the radio. Without a second thought Jimmie heads out toward what he hopes will be a new and meaningful life.
As a marine recruit, Jimmie becomes a code talker. He and his small, all Navajo platoon develop a classified code using the Navajo language – the only code in WWII the enemy could not break. For the first time, Jimmie experiences equality, respect, and admiration: everything he’s dreamed about all his life. But it is when he retunrs home four years later that he discovers the devastating truth about what can happen after your dreams come true.
This entralling (and well reviewed) tale, told with keen historical accuracy combines both fictional and real-lfe individuals. It depicts Jimmie’s journey of hope, disillusionment, and redeption as he immerses himself in a world war and the turbulent changes that sweep across the Navajo reservation, forever his own destiny.
Taken from THE WRITE WORD, the newsletter of The Society of Southwestern Authors Feb-March 2015
THREE THREADS WOVEN
by Lucinda Stein
Wenona Black Elk is woven from three threads…Dakota Sioux, Navajo, and white. Her journey into womanhood leads her into a difficult marriage. Later, when fate reunites her with her Indian father, a devastating blow is unleashed.
Painted against the colorful backdrop of Dakota and Navajo cultures, THREE THREADS WOVEN shows us that family ties have the power to heal or destroy- but secrets can unravel the soul.
Available in bookstores an online retailers.
GIRL WITH SKIRT OF STARS
by Jennifer Kitchell
Lilli Chischilly’s world is one in which she is continually seeking the spiritual balance at the heart of her culture: she stands with one foot firmly planted in the world of the Dineh, her Navajo People, and the other in the white world of the Bilagdana where her legal skills and deep; understanding of both cultures have put her in the political spotlight.
But to Lilli everything seems to be about agendas and everyone seems to want something from her. Her boss at the Navajo Nation’s Historic Preservation Department sends her down the river, literally, with the front-running candidate for presidency of the United States, a man with an agenda of his own. And what sort of agenda does Jerome Bah have? Lilli’s childhood best friend has recently returned to the Reservation and is trying to tell her something through his haunting aerial photographs. Even the most ancient and revered Navajo healer wants something from Lilli, but what that might be is unclear.
Darker forces are at work here as well. A murdered Navajo grandfather, symbolically marked, is found in a strange landscape of the hoodoos, and someone is determined that a Mormon man named Lee will never make it to the White House. It is up to Lilli to navigate her way these dangerous waters even as the mightly Colorado sweeps a raft full of people toward the unknown.
PATTERNS OF EXCHANGE: NAVAJO WEAVERS AND TRADERS
by Teresa Wilkins. University of Oklahoma Press
“Navajo trader Lorenzo Hubbell, of Ganado, AZ, had an enormous influence on Navajo weaving, because he encouraged native weavers to creat new designs that would attract Anglo-American buyers. He commissioned artists to paint rug designs that he thought would please buyers and then asked his weavers to copy them (some paintings of these designs adorn one wall of the Hubbell Trading Post’s rug room in Ganado). The author interviewed a number of weavers and discovered that although they liked the suggestions, they always had the final say on the end product. The Hubbell family operated some 36 trading posts, manily in Arizona and New Mexico, thus creating a market for the weavers. Now, in the new millennium, weavers travel to shows and museums and market their own rugs, and for many the Internet is their global marketplace.”- Patricia Etter
SHEBALA AGAINST CENSORSHIP
by Selina Sanatana
“Marley Shebala, senior news reporter for the Navajo Times has over 23 years of journalistic experience. She has been recognized many times for her remarkable work and has received many prestigious awards. In 2006 she was awarded the Arizona Community Journalist of the Year from the Arizona Press Club. In 2003, Shebala was awarded a fellowship to teach environmental journalism at the University of California at Berkeley. She also was the first news director of KTNN, a tribal government owned AM radio station.”
“Aside from her many awards and accomplishments, what makes Shehala so remarkable is that she has never faltered under pressure of media censorship. In 1986, the then native nation chairman, Peter MacDonald placed her on ‘indefinite leave without pay’ because she had refused to censor her stories about MacDonald’s intentions to shut down the Navajo Times. Marley refused to give in to the media corruption and eventually returned to work at the KTNN with her strong belief in non-censorship within the media. When a deadly riot erupted between MacDonald supporters and the Navajo police, there were only two journalist at the scene- Shebala was one of them. In a news article in the High Country News, Shebala was quoted, ‘all my life, I’ve worked for my people.’ Shebala remembers thinking. ‘If I (accept censorship), I’m not going to be who I am.'”
“Shebala has never one to passively wait for stories to come to her. On the contrary, she has been incredibly proactive, researching her work thoroughly. This is a remarkable journalist with many outstanting accomplishments. She is a proud Navajo woman who has not forgotten her birth roots and who works to find the truth in every story she tells.
Taken from EL CONRAJE LA NUEVA GENERACION developed from Dr. Roberto Cintli Rodriquez’ Red-Brown Journalism Mexican American Studies Class The University of Arizona