Atomic Southwest: Special SAL Issue

From Sara Spurgeon:

I just got my Southwestern American Lit special issue on the Atomic Southwest. For those of you who haven’t picked it up, there are fabulous articles on the works of Simon Ortiz, Ed Abbey, three Nevada poets (Adrian Louis, Gary Short, and Shaun Griffin), Terry Tempest Williams, and Georgia O’Keeffe’s “black place” landscape paintings. And in a bit of blatant self-promotion, I’ll also put in a word for checking out an author not typically associated with Southwestern or Atomic lit–Martin Cruz Smith. (Why yes, I did write an essay for the SAL issue on Smith!) Seriously though, he’s an interesting case, most well known for Gorky Park and the Arkady Renko series of international spy novels, but with several “southwestern-ish” and/or Native American novels, as well, though they haven’t sold nearly as many copies. There’s been a bit of debate in wicazo sa as to whether he’s Indian enough. (Father was Anglo, mother was half Pueblo, half Yaqui, but he never lived on a reservation and doesn’t always get his ethnographic details correct.) I’d love to know if anyone has taught him as a Native American writer or as an Atomic author (two of his novels, The Indians Won and Stallion Gate, are interested in nuclear weapons).

Administrator’s Note: I moved Sara Spurgeon’s comment into a post to make it easier to respond to her query about author Martin Cruz Smith.


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