The Contemporary Indian Romance: A Review Essay

Publication year
American Indian Culture and Research Journal

The essay, which finishes on page 101, is followed by reviews of "Indian romances." The reviewers are Peter G. Beidler and his students, Richard Olstein, Karen L. Atkiss, Brian R. Bankoski, Kristie M. Immordino, Cristel Shea, Jennifer Gentile, Melissa M. Hantak, Debra Schwartzberg, Jian Shi, Nicole D. Matson, Elizabeth Rigney, Kiersten Mitchell, Elisa M. Chiusano, Victoria Walker, Jennifer A. Allen, and William D. Smith. The reviews are on pages 101-125.

the male protagonists tend to be Indian or mixed Indian-and-white, while the female protagonists are white or mixed Indian-and-white. Only two of the male main characters were white, and not a single female main character was a full-blood Indian. It is interesting that two of the four female protagonists of mixed blood began the novel separated from their Indian heritage. [...] How do we account for the absence of Indian heroines in Indian romances? We are not sure, but if it is true that white women constitute the dominant audience for the Indian romance, it seems logical to suggest that such readers want to identify with the heroines. If one of the motives for reading these novels is escape, it seems logical, again, to suggest that white women readers will find it easy to escape into plots about the amorous adventures of white women with rugged males in exotic settings. (99)