Anpao: An American Indian Odyssey Summary
Jamake Highwater

Everything you need to understand or teach Anpao by Jamake Highwater.

  • Anpao: An American Indian Odyssey Summary & Study Guide

Anpao: An American Indian Odyssey Summary

The novel consists of a collection of traditional North American tales that Highwater has skillfully woven into one story. As the subtitle of the book indicates, the story of Anpao's quest and growth into manhood has certain parallels to Homer's Odyssey. The subtitle is also a subtle reminder that the Native American imagination has a mythic dimension that the European mind once had but has now perhaps lost. Like all myths, the story of Anpao incorporates important cultural values and a world view. The Native American perspective thus revealed to the reader as the story progresses is the novel's most outstanding and unique feature.

The novel gains its distinction from the way it immerses the reader in the Native American imagination. This imagination ignores traditional categories of time, place, and being. Animals are called "people," and old Wasicong, who tells the story, has eyes like a wise owl...

(read more from the Short Guide)

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