Native American Stories | Greg Sarris: A Reading, Conversation & Book Signing

This April, Greg Sarris, tribal leader, university professor, playwright, producer, and award-winning author, published The Forgetters, a boundary-pushing new work that explores themes of memory, survival, connection, and environmental preservation. The book’s emphasis on environmental stewardship mirrors Greg’s work as Tribal Chairman; Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (FIGR) is the first Native American tribe to co-manage a property with the National Parks service, and they’ve donated tens of millions of dollars to environmental causes.

Planet Earth Arts is bringing Greg Sarris to Stanford as a guest artist. He is a distinguished Stanford alumnus (MA 81’, PhD 89’) where he received a 1988–89 Walter Gores Award for excellence in teaching while a graduate student. He was also a 1979–80 Wallace Stegner Fellow.

The Forgetters is narrated by twin sisters—perhaps they’re human women, perhaps they’re crows—Answer Woman and Question Woman. Answer Woman can tell all the stories, but she cannot think of them unless she is asked. Question Woman cannot remember a single story, and she must always ask her questions to hear them again. Together, asking and answering, these crow sisters share the stories of the Forgetters—people who have forgotten their roots and consequently hurt the Earth and each other.

“So much of this book, and all of my work, is an attempt to re-story the landscape so that we can know our place in it and our responsibility to it. —Greg Sarris on The Forgetters


 

 

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The Forgetters

Greg Sarris will read from his astonishing new collection of stories that weave together elements of Southern Pomo and Coast Miwok creation stories with the contemporary world. Following the reading, he will have an illuminating conversation with another of Stanford’s noted writers and teachers, Sterling HolyWhiteMountain. The evening will culminate in a book signing.

This event is co-sponsored by the Bill Lane Center for the American West, Continuing Studies, Creative Writing Program, Stanford Humanities Center, Institute for Diversity in the Arts, Native American Studies Program, and the Native American Cultural Center, in collaboration with Planet Earth Arts/National Center for New Plays at Stanford.

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