Oberon Press, 1995
A book-length collection about the past and present of the Cherokee nation. The poetry of nature, the passion of ancient folksong, the soul of a people, they’re all here in this elegant suite of stories. One of the stories contained in this collection, Long Man the River, won the 1994 Journey Prize, a Canadian literary award, presented annually by McClelland and Stewart and the Writers' Trust of Canada for the best short story published by an emerging writer in a Canadian literary magazine. The award was endowed by James A. Michener, who donated the Canadian royalty earnings from his 1988 novel Journey and is the largest monetary award given in Canada to an up-and-coming writer for a short story or excerpt from a fiction work-in-progress.
“In Constant Fire, Hardy explores life on the Qualla Boundary Reserve. The stories are formal expressions of Hardy’s regret for the conduct of her people. She joins a people trapped in epilogue, in an endless display of mourning and deferred grief. But the stories can also brilliantly shift shape and honour – formally and in spirit – Cherokee culture. . . . Hardy says she “squeezed between worlds” when she lived and worked among the Cherokee, that she needed to tell these stories. On the west coast we might say she potlaches. Constant Fire is a redistribution of great wealth.”
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