Beyond the 100th Meridian

Literature Reviews

David Dary: The Santa Fe Trail – Its History, Legends and Lore

The Great Western Highway Francisco Coronado. Juan de Oñate. William Becknell. Kit Carson. Jedediah Smith. Bent’s Old Fort. Fort Union. Fort Larned. Fort Dodge. Raton Pass. Glorieta Pass. Names resounding with history, lore, enterprise, bravery and honor; conjuring up images of treks and trading posts, stagecoaches and scouts, gunfights and gold seekers, cowboys and cavallery […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Tom Bahti / Mark Bahti / Bruce Hucko: Southwestern Indian Arts and Crafts

The wealth of Indian arts and crafts, marvelously presented Did you know that the squash blossom necklace, probably the most recognizable of all Navajo jewelry designs, was an innovation only introduced during the 1870s? That most of the pottery produced in Isleta Pueblo is made by only two families? That the famous Zuñi cluster jewelry […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Rina Swentzell / Luci Tapahonso / Tony Chavarria (eds.): Here, Now, and Always – Voices of the First Peoples of the Southwest

“We are the people.” “I am here. I am here, now. I have been here, always.” Edmund J. Ladd (Zuñi). In 1989, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, NM, began to put together a project designed to present Native American culture, traditions, and contemporary life from an Indian point of view: […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

John Steinbeck: Novels 1942 – 1952 (Library of America)

A Nobel Laureate’s Eden and Our Many Faults and Failures. Whenever “the great American novel” comes up in conversation, the names most frequently bandied about are Fitzgerald (“The Great Gatsby”), Faulkner (“The Sound and the Fury”), Hemingway (“The Old Man and the Sea”) – and John Steinbeck, chronicler of rural California and the ordinary man’s […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Wallace Stegner: Remembering Laughter

Early hallmarks of Stegner’s greatest works. On the front porch of their Iowa farm house, Margaret Stuart and her sister Elspeth watch the arrival of the funeral guests of Margaret’s husband Alec. Having aged rapidly and before their time, they seem to be twins; although in fact there is a seven year age difference between […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

John Nichols: A Fragile Beauty

In Harmony With the Earth “An albatross around his neck” John Nichols called his 1974 novel The Milagro Beanfield War in an afterword to the book’s 1994 anniversary edition, because he felt that particularly after Milagro had, over multiple obstacles, been made into a 1988 movie directed by Robert Redford, it had eclipsed much of […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Tony Hillerman: Sacred Clowns

One of the biggest highlights in an outstanding series. Against his editor’s counsel, Tony Hillerman switched from nonfiction to fiction writing over 30 years ago, with a story ultimately entitled “The Blessing Way;” introducing an (at the time) new type of hero and a new setting to the realm of the mystery novel – a […]

Read More
Literature Reviews

Sherman Alexie: The Toughest Indian in the World

Stories that make you think. Sherman Alexie’s narratives in The Toughest Indian in the World combine the author’s matter-of-fact, understated style with his edgy humor, irony and passion. The result is a collection of short stories (with numerous subplots) which will always make you think, sometimes make you laugh, and sometimes make you get angry. […]

Read More