Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Little Town Tea's Book Corner
The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta is the first California book ever written. It was written by a Native American named Yellow Bird, also known as John Rollin Ridge. He is also considered the first Native American novelist. I read this book for my Multicultural California Literature course. It is quite an interesting read. It is about Joaquin Murieta, whose name is spelled a number of ways, and his life as a criminal. Joaquin Murieta and his gang are well known for being feared throughout California during the late 1840s and early 1850s. This book is interesting because of the approach Yellow Bird takes. He sympathizes with Joaquin while making some of the members of his gang into villains. Yellow Bird also makes some derogatory remarks about some of the Native American tribes in California, which is interesting since Yellow Bird is Cherokee. Although it might not be the most historically accurate book and does display some prejudices, it is interesting to read the first book written in California and the first book written by a Native American.