, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 187-203
Date: 07 Jun 2008

Native American quest for a face: Michael Dorris and Louise Erdrich’s discovery narrative

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The article focuses on Native American Michael Dorris and Louise Erdrich’s novel The Crown of Columbus, which contemplates the dilemma of how to/whether to celebrate the quincentenary of America’s discovery. Putting a face on Columbus and coming to terms with the consequences of his voyages to the “New World” from Native and White perspectives alike — the main concern of the novel — makes characters and readers weigh issues of stereotyping, mimicry, and historical thinking. The article analyzes how a Bakhtinian dialogue among narrative voices over these notions generates a postcolonial discourse that seeks tolerance and mutual understanding among races cursed with a history of miscommunication.