Washington: Hayworth Publishing House, 1921. First Edition. 8vo. 195 pp. Bound in pictorial cloth, printed black and red pattern with title on front cover, same pattern on back cover, title and publisher information printed in black on spine. Corners bumped and edges slightly worn, some discoloration at joints. Opposite the enthusiastic review by Helen Keller of "Old Indian Legends" is a tipped-in portrait of Zitkala-Sa, clipped from a text published after 1930. Textblock edges browned with minimal foxing, offset of inlaid newspaper article dated January 27, 1938, on front endleaf. A newspaper article is pasted on p. 6, containing a poem about "Red Bird" (Zitkala-Sa) by George Sterling titled "A Fair Exchange"; this newsclipping is BROWNED and has offset on the opposite page (see images). Signed by the author (apparently to "James Tufts"?) on front endleaf and on the frontispiece in green pen (the latter inscription dated 1922). Very Good. Item #3369
A RARE SIGNED COPY. ONLY THREE SIGNED BOOKS BY ZITKALA-SA HAVE EVER APPEARED AT AUCTION.
FIRST EDITION of an important collection of childhood stories, allegorical fiction, and a highly significant essay by Zitkala-Sa -- a Dakota Sioux, author, musician, and outspoken political activist in the Pan-Indian Movement of the 1920s and 30s. The book details the hardships encountered by Zitkala-Sa and other Native Americans in the missionary and manual labor schools that were designed to "civilize" them, and ultimately to assimilate them into white American culture.
Zitkala-Sa (1876-1938) is also known by her missionary-given and later married name: Gertrude Simmons Bonnin. She was one of the most influential Native American activists of the 20th century, female or otherwise. In 1926 she co-founded the National Council of American Indians, which she served as president until her death. Her books were among the first to bring traditional Native American stories to a widespread English-speaking audience.
Seven of the stories included here were orginally published in the 1900 and 1902 issues of The Atlantic Monthly ("Impressions of an Indian Childhood," "The School Days of an Indian Girl," "An Indian Teacher Among Indians," and "Why I am a Pagan"); the 1901 issues of Harper's Magazine ("The Trial Path" and "The Soft-Hearted Sioux"); and the 1902 issue of Everybody's Magazine ("A Warrior's Daughter").
Published here for the first time is: "A Dream of Her Grandfather," "The Widespread Enigma of Blue-Star Woman," and "AMERICA'S INDIAN PROBLEM" (sic!)
Combined searches through the millions of records in RBH and ABPC produce only THREE signed Zitkala-Sa books at auction:
1. Old Indian Legends (1901). Waverly, 2013;
2. American Indian Stories (1921). Swann, 2011;
3. American Indian Stories (1921). PBA Galleries 2002.
Provenance: Warren Howell (San Francisco bookseller) --> Dorothy Sloan (Texas bookseller and auctioneer).