Saanii Dahataal: the Women are Singing: Poems and Stories

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In this cycle of poetry and stories, Navajo writer Luci Tapahonso shares memories of her home in Shiprock, New Mexico, and of the places and people there. Through these celebrations of birth, partings, and reunions, this gifted writer displays both her love of the Navajo world and her resonant use of language. Blending memoir and fiction in the storytelling style common to many Indian traditions, Tapahonso's writing shows that life and death are intertwined, and that the Navajo people live with the knowledge that identity is formed by knowing about the people to whom one belongs. The use of both English and Navajo in her work creates an interplay that may also give readers a new way of understanding their connectedness to their own inner lives and to other people. Luci Tapahonso shows how the details of everyday life--whether the tragedy of losing a loved one or the joy of raising children, or simply drinking coffee with her uncle--bear evidence of cultural endurance and continuity. Through her work, readers may come to better appreciate the different perceptions that come from women's lives.