LeAnne Howe-Savage Conversations

LeAnne Howe


LeAnne Howe (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) is a poet, fiction writer, playwright, and filmmaker. Her most recent book, Choctalking on Other Realities, won the inaugural 2014 MLA Prize for Studies in Native American Literatures, Cultures, and Languages. She is the Eidson Distinguished Professor in American Literature in English at the University of Georgia, Athens.


Suppressed History and Memory Come Back with a Vengeance

In these two works of fiction, created from archives and imaginations, the characters wrestle with erased histories through myriad conversations among the living and the dead. Haunting Paris is set in the city of light in 1989, the year of the French Revolution Bicentennial, and 1942, and Savage Conversations in 1875 in Bellvue Place Sanitarium, Batavia, Illinois. Both stories reveal the unexpected power of suppressed history and memory.

Moderator: Pearl McHaney

Pearl Amelia McHaney is the Kenneth M. England Professor of Southern Literature at Georgia State University where she also directs the Center for Collaborative and International Arts (CENCIA). In 2014, her book-length study A Tyrannous Eye: Eudora Welty’s Nonfiction and Photography was published and she received the Phoenix Award for outstanding achievement in Welty Studies from the Eudora Welty Society. She is the editor of Eudora Welty as Photographer, winner of the Eudora Welty Prize; Occasions: Selected Writings by Eudora Welty; Eudora Welty: Contemporary Reviews; A Writer’s Eye: Collected Reviews by Eudora; and the Eudora Welty Review.

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Savage Conversations

May 1875: Mary Todd Lincoln is addicted to opiates and tried in a Chicago court on charges of insanity. Entered into evidence is Ms. Lincoln’s claim that every night a Savage Indian enters her bedroom and slashes her face and scalp. She is swiftly committed to Bellevue Place Sanitarium. Her hauntings may be a reminder that in 1862, President Lincoln ordered the hanging of thirty-eight Dakotas in the largest mass execution in United States history. No one has ever linked the two events—until now. Savage Conversations is a daring account of a former first lady and the ghosts that tormented her for the contradictions and crimes on which this nation is founded. BUY THIS BOOK!

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