August 8, 2023
Sarah Hernandez and Tom Zoellner will represent South Dakota and Arizona, respectively, at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC, on August 12. Hernandez wrote We are the Stars: Colonizing and Decolonizing the Oceti Sakowin Literary Tradition, selected by The South Dakota Humanities Council. Tom Zoellner wrote Rim to River, selected by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records.
The South Dakota Humanities Council plans to give away ten copies of We Are the Stars at their Festival booth. Meanwhile, at the Arizona booth, Tom Zoellner will be available 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. to talk with readers.
Both books will be part of the “Great Reads from Great Places” reading list, distributed by the Library of Congress’s Center for the Book. Books may be written by authors from the state, take place in the state, or celebrate the state’s culture and heritage.
One way the Library of Congress strives to bring the 2023 festival experience to all Americans is through the creation of recorded online conversations featuring the Great Reads authors talking about their books and about the theme of this year’s festival: “Everyone Has a Story.” Videos from both Hernandez and Zoellner will be available here, shortly after the Festival.
The 23rd annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., on August 12, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. A selection of programs will be live-streamed online and videos of all programs will be available shortly after the Festival.
Congratulations Sarah and Tom!
About We Are the Stars:
Women and land form the core themes of the book, which brings tribal and settler colonial narratives into comparative analysis. Divided into two parts, the first section of the work explores how settler colonizers used the printing press and boarding schools to displace Oceti Sakowin women as traditional culture keepers and culture bearers with the goal of internally and externally colonizing the Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota nations. The second section focuses on decolonization and explores how contemporary Oceti Sakowin writers and scholars have started to reclaim Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota literatures to decolonize and heal their families, communities, and nations.
About Rim to River:
Rim to River is the story of this extraordinary journey through redrock country, down canyons, up mesas, and across desert plains to the obscure valley in Mexico that gave the state its enigmatic name. The trek is interspersed with incisive essays that pick apart the distinctive cultural landscape of Arizona: the wine-colored pinnacles and complex spirituality of Navajoland, the mind-numbing stucco suburbs, desperate border crossings, legislative skullduggery, extreme politics, billion-dollar copper ventures, dehydrating rivers, retirement kingdoms, old-time foodways, ghosts of old wars, honky-tonk dreamers, murder mysteries, and magical Grand Canyon reveries.