Culture-to-culture encounters between "natives" and "aliens" have gone on for centuries in the American Southwest—among American Indian tribes, between American Indians and Euro-Americans, and even, according to some, between humans and extraterrestrials at Roswell, New Mexico. Drawing on a wide range of cultural productions including novels, films, paintings, comic strips, and historical studies, this groundbreaking book explores the Southwest as both a real and a culturally constructed site of migration and encounter, in which the very identities of "alien" and "native" shift with each act of travel.
Eric Anderson pursues his inquiry through an unprecedented range of cultural texts. These include the Roswell spacecraft myths, Leslie Marmon Silko's Almanac of the Dead, Wendy Rose's poetry, the outlaw narratives of Billy the Kid, Apache autobiographies by Geronimo and Jason Betzinez, paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe, New West history by Patricia Nelson Limerick, Frank Norris' McTeague, Mary Austin's The Land of Little Rain, Sarah Winnemucca's Life Among the Piutes, Willa Cather's The Professor's House, George Herriman's modernist comic strip Krazy Kat, and A. A. Carr's Navajo-vampire novel Eye Killers.