An eclectic collection of poetry, prose, and politics, Notebooks of Elizabeth Cook-Lynn is a text, a narrative, a song, a story, a history, a testimony, a witnessing. Above all, it is a fiercely intelligent, brave, and sobering work that re-examines and interrogates our nation's past and the distorted way that its history has been written. In topics including recent debates over issues of environmental justice, the contradictions surrounding the Crazy Horse Monument, and the contemporary portrayal of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as one of the great American epic odysseys, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn stitches together a patchwork of observations of racially charged cultural materials, personal experiences, and contemporary characterizations of this country's history and social climate. Through each example, she challenges the status quo and piques the reader's awareness of persistent abuses of indigenous communities. The voices that Cook-Lynn brings to the texts are as varied as the genres in which she writes. They are astute and lyrical, fierce and heartbreaking.
Through these intonations, she maintains a balance between her roles as a scholar and a poet, a popular teacher and a woman who has experienced deep personal loss. A unique blend of form and content that traverses time, space, and purpose, this collection is a thoroughly original contribution to modern American Indian literature. Moreover, it presents an alternative narrative of the nation's history and opens an important window into the political challenges that Natives continue to face.