Against a divided land: a memoir in personal essays

Deborah Taffa, University of Iowa

Abstract

Against a Divided Land is a tale of escape from the poverty of the Yuma Indian reservation, the flight of a young girl and her family into modern American in the 1970's. The stories in the collection emerge via the narrator: a forty-year-old woman exploring landscape and memory. Her recollections as a mother and international traveler, juxtaposed alongside her childhood on the reservation, reveal the unique concerns of Native Americans in the era of government relocation and displacement. The stories in this collection paint a picture of United States subculture rarely seen. The accounts link the narrator to the past in surprising ways as they push forth with a modern voice, imagining a brighter future: a future filled with both loss and beauty. From Africa to the Southwest, the characters in these essays seek relationships across typical boundaries.