With a new and more inclusive perspective for the growing field of queer Native studies, Lisa Tatonetti provides a genealogy of queer Native writing after Stonewall. Looking across a broad range of literature, Tatonetti offers the first overview and guide to queer Native literature from its rise in the 1970s to the present day.
In "The Queerness of Native American Literature," Tatonetti recovers ties between two simultaneous renaissances of the late twentieth century: queer literature and Native American literature. She foregrounds how Indigeneity intervenes within and against dominant interpretations of queer genders and sexualities, recovering unfamiliar texts from the 1970s while presenting fresh, cogent readings of well-known works. In juxtaposing the work of Native authors including the longtime writer activist Paula Gunn Allen, the first contemporary queer Native writer Maurice Kenny, the poet Janice Gould, the novelist Louise Erdrich, and the filmmakers Sherman Alexie, Thomas Bezucha, and Jorge Manuel Manzano with the work of queer studies scholars, Tatonetti proposes resourceful interventions in foundational concepts in queer studies while also charting new directions for queer Native studies.
Throughout, she argues that queerness has been central to Native American literature for decades, showing how queer Native literature and Two-Spirit critiques challenge understandings of both Indigeneity and sexuality.