Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Profile of Eddie Chuculate

Black Sparrow author Eddie Chuculate was recently profiled in High Country News, a Colorado-based magazine that focuses on the culture and environmental issues of the Western United States. In the profile, Chuculate, author of Cheyenne Madonna, describes his writing style and how, despite his Oklahoma roots, the West is in his blood.

Here's an excerpt from the article:
"Dear Shorty" describes a young Creek/Cherokee man who wanders across the Southwest, in and out of trouble with alcohol and the law, all while writing letters to his dad. It's from Chuculate's first book, Cheyenne Madonna, a tale of Oklahoma grit and Native wanderlust. Creek poet Joy Harjo praised it, noting how the author "investigates the broken-heart nation of Indian men. The epicenter of action is the tenuous meeting place between boyhood and manhood, between fierce need and desire."
Chuculate, who is Creek Indian and Cherokee, first learned how to spin a tale at the family dinner table. "There were only three channels on TV. We'd spend the evenings acting out what happened that day, or we'd mimic how someone walked or talked." After high school, Chuculate worked as a local sportswriter for a few years, but eventually decided he would "die if I had to cover one more Little League tournament or trout-fishing competition."
And so, in 1994, after a friend told him about the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, he hopped a Greyhound to the heart of the Southwest. His love affair with the West began on that journey. "In the morning, the sun came up behind the Sandias -- that was the first time I saw mountains." At the Native contemporary arts school, Chuculate thought he'd be a museum studies major until he took a fiction class and discovered an outlet for his natural inclination for story. "Our first assignment was to write a story about a memorable character in our family," he says. "So I started writing 'A Famous Indian Artist' based on my uncle. Then I started writing about my dad, my grandma and grandpa. Their characters are all over (Cheyenne Madonna)."
You can read the rest of the article here. Pick up your copy of Cheyenne Madonna today!

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