The Old Lady Trill, the Victory Yell: The Power of Women in Native American Literature

Document Type



The political ramifications of gender complementarity for women in Native American literature result in strong female characters in the works of Zitkala-Sa (Yankton Sioux), Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo), Louise Erdrich (Ojibwe), and Sherman Alexie (Spokane/Coeur d’ Alene). These authors create powerful females who live autonomous lives. Considering the tribal constructs of gender relations when examining the female characters helps explain why these women are politically empowered, whereas using a Western theoretical framework, for example, white feminism, will not produce the same kind of reading or explain as well why these female figures are so impressive.


Feminism; Feminism and literature; Gender identity in literature; Literature; Native Americans; Native Americans in literature; Sex; Sex role; Women in literature


American Literature | Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Literature in English, North America | Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority


Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the item. Publisher policy does not allow archiving the final published version. If a post-print (author's peer-reviewed manuscript) is allowed and available, or publisher policy changes, the item will be deposited.

Search your library