Cherokee Stories of the Turtle Island Liars' Club paints a vivid, fascinating portrait of a community deeply grounded in tradition and dynamically engaged in the present. A collection of forty interwoven stories, conversations, and teachings about Western Cherokee life, beliefs, and the art of storytelling, the book orchestrates a multilayered conversation between a group of hored Cherokee elders, storytellers, and kwledge-keepers and the communities their stories touch. Collaborating with Hastings Shade, Sammy Still, Sequoyah Guess, and Woody Hansen, Cherokee scholar Christopher B. Teuton has assembled the first collection of traditional and contemporary Western Cherokee stories published in over forty years. Not simply a compilation, Cherokee Stories of the Turtle Island Liars' Club explores the art of Cherokee storytelling, or as it is kwn in the Cherokee language, gagoga (gah-goh-ga), literally translated as he or she is lying. The book reveals how the members of the Liars' Club understand the power and purposes of oral traditional stories and how these stories articulate Cherokee tradition, or teachings, which the storytellers claim are fundamental to a construction of Cherokee selfhood and cultural belonging. Four of the stories are presented in both English and Cherokee.
Christopher B. Teuton (Cherokee Nation) is associate professor of English at the University of Victoria, Canada and author of Deep Waters: The Textual Continuum in American Indian Literature.