The Dance Partner by Diane GlancyThe Dance Partner by Diane Glancy

The Dance Partner

byDiane Glancy

Paperback | October 18, 2005

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Diane Glancy sees books as being akin to maps,and often finds the Native American voices she writes about as she travels. Once, when driving through western Nevada, she stopped at Grant Mountain and Walker Lake, where the Ghost Dance began and still lives. There she found inspiration for The Dance Partner, this outstanding collection of short stories that begins in the present, jumps back to the time of the Ghost Dance, goes further back to the Sioux Uprising, and then moves forward again across 117 years of Plains Indian history. 
     The Ghost Dance was a late 19th-century phenomenon among Native American groups in the West. Followers believed that whites would disappear and that the "oldways of living" would return. In fact, Glancy’s stories form a kind of Ghost Dance, circling what is with what was and will be. History is not in the past at all, but has a presence in the present in a way that transforms the future. In a culture where much has been erased, forgotten, or lost, the fragments of what is known are woven with the possibilities of what could have been in a technique that is called ghosting. Ghosting in writing presents voices that might have been  alongside voices known to have been. Glancy takes the words of Native Americans, Porcupine and Kicking Bear, along with those of ethnologist James Mooney, and adds imagined voices. The past roams into the present. History comes down the road in many vehicles, out of chronological order, carnival trucks with different rides, each setting up unreality in funhouse mirrors that distort them into new ways of seeing is true. Glancy writes from a historical perspective and the imagination of what could have been. In the end, the Ghost Dance symbolizes the possibility of a rewritten life.

Diane Glancy is a professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she teaches Native American Literature and Creative Writing. Among her many writing awards are the 1993 American Book Award, Minnesota Book Award, and a Native American Prose Award. Glancy is of Cherokee and English/German descent.
Title:The Dance PartnerFormat:PaperbackDimensions:115 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.4 inPublished:October 18, 2005Publisher:Michigan State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0870137573

ISBN - 13:9780870137570

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Editorial Reviews

"A powerful mosaic of voices create a haunting portrait of the Trail of Tears...A distinctly original and haunting work..."