The Strength of Native Women in James Welch’s Winter in the Blood

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Female characters in the literature of James Welch (Blackfeet/Gros Ventre) sometimes seem overshadowed by the principal male characters, and often the titles of the novels are about the male protagonists: the nameless protagonist in Winter in the Blood (1976), The Death of Jim Loney (1979), White Man’s Dog in Fools Crow (1986), Sylvester Yellow Calf in The Indian Lawyer (1990), and Charging Elk in The Heartsong of Charging Elk (2000). However, in Welch’s novels the women hold important places and are necessary for the narratives. This essay looks at how the strength of the Native women are an integral part of the tribal context in which, to borrow Stephen Tatum’s phrase, Welch’s “I” exists (74).


American literature--Indian authors; Indians of North America; Women in literature


Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | Indigenous Studies | Literature in English, North America | Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies


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