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'Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir' author to read Jan. 24

Identity and history at their most dynamic, creative and personal

Deborah Miranda, a member of the Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation, will give a presentation at CSU Monterey Bay on Jan. 24. The public is invited to the free event.

Dr. Miranda will read from her new book, “Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir.” The book, part tribal history, part lyric, part intimate memoir – should be required reading for anyone interested in California Indian history. She tells stories of her family as well as the experience of other California Indians through oral histories, newspaper clippings, recordings, personal reflections and poems.

The result is a work of literary art that is wise, angry and playful all at once.

In the book, she says: “If we allow the pieces of our culture to lie scattered in the dust of history, trampled on by racism and grief, then yes, we are irreparably damaged. But if we pick up the pieces and use them in new ways that honor their integrity, their colors, textures, stories—then we do those pieces justice, no matter how sharp they are, no matter how much handling them slices our fingers and makes us bleed.” A California native, Dr. Miranda is an associate professor of English at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., where she teaches creative writing, Native American literatures, poetry and composition.

She is the author of two poetry collections, Indian Cartography and The Zen of La Llorona. Her collection of essays, The Hidden Stories of Isabel Meadows and Other California Indian Lacunae, will be published by the University of Nebraska Press.

The presentation will be held at 6 p.m. in Room 120 of the Student Center, located on Inter-Garrison Road near Fifth Avenue. A book signing will follow the presentation. Driving directions and a campus map are available at While the event is free, attendees must purchase a $2 parking permit.

The Otter Cross Cultural Center is the event sponsor. For more information or to make disability-related accommodations, call Tim Bills at 582-4645 or e-mail

A searing indictment of the ravages of the past and a hopeful look at the courage to confront and overcome them. — Kirkus Reviews