Ann Cummins

Southwest Book Reviewer

Ann Cummins is Professor of Creative Writing at Northern Arizona University.  She has published stories in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Antioch Review, and elsewhere; her fiction has been anthologized in a variety of series including The Best American Short Stories, The Prentice Hall Anthology of Women’s Literature, and The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories.  A 2002 recipient of a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship, she is the author of the short story collection Red Ant House, (Houghton Mifflin, spring, 2003) and the novel Yellowcake (Houghton Mifflin, 2007).

Cheyenne Madonna

Jan 20, 2011

Occasionally a short story writer comes along whose stories are as roomy and absorbing as good novels. Eddie Chuculate is such a writer. In each of the seven stories in his wonderful premier book, "Cheyenne Madonna," Chuculate treats us to seductive, ornery, winsome characters muddling along in the messy business of living.

This year, I've asked two friends to join me in reviewing our holiday picks. Both Isabella Berglund Brown and Valerie Schlosberg are eighth graders at Northland Preparatory Academy in Flagstaff.

We'll start out with Isabell's review of "A Boy Named Beckoning," by Gina Capaldi.

My dad was once given a peculiar assignment. He was working for the VCA the Vanadium Corporation of America in Durango, Colorado. The VCA had been mining and milling uranium in Colorado, Utah, and throughout the Navajo Nation since the late 30s. In 1962, they shut down the Durango mill and transferred my father to the reservation. They were leaving a huge pile of tailings nestled against Smelter Mountain right by the Animas River. For years, Durangoans had complained about the fine pink and many thought radioactive sand that blew over the town.

Percival's Planet

Oct 19, 2010

Some writers have the gift of channeling living breathing people in their fictional characters. Charles Dickens and J. D. Salinger did. So does Sherman Alexie.

Arnold Spirit is the star of Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Arnold is a charismatic underdog. Born with water on the brain, he lisps; he stutters. Cute in a little kid, but in junior high, it qualifies you for membership in the Black-Eye-of- the-Month Club. Arnold says, "Everybody on the rez calls me a retard about twice a day."

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