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Paula Gunn Allen


The daughter of a Laguna Pueblo, Sioux and Scottish mother, and a Lebanese-American father, Paula Gunn Allen was raised in a small New Mexican village. A major Native American poet, writer, lecturer, and scholar, Allen has won many awards, including the American Book Award and the Susan Koppleman Award. She is the author of seven volumes of poetry, a novel, a collection of essays, two anthologies, and the well-received Spider Woman’s Granddaughters: Native American Women’s Traditional and Short Stories. Her bookPochahantas: Medicine Woman, Spy, Entrepreneur, Diplomat was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2004. Allen was the third recipient since 1964 to receive the MLA’s Hubbell Medal for Lifetime Achievement in American Literature.


Allen received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon and a PhD in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Throughout her lifetime, she taught Literature, Creative Writing, and Native American Studies at various learning institutions, including the Ft. Lewis College in Colorado, University of New Mexico, San Diego State University, San Francisco State University, University of California Los Angeles, and University of California Berkeley. Paula passed away on May 29, 2008. Her voice has contributed to various fields such as Native American Studies, Women and Gender Studies, and Anthropology.

To learn more about Paula Gunn Allen’s work and life, visit her online memorial.






The Woman Who Owned the Shadows

The Woman Who Owned the Shadows starts where the rest of the world leaves Indians off: at the brink of death. Ephanie Atencio is in the midst of a breakdown from which she can barely move. She has been left by her husband and is unable to take care of her children. To heal, Ephanie must seek, however gropingly, her own future. She leaves New Mexico for San Francisco, where she begins again the process of remembering, of trying to sort out the parts of her, ultimately finding a way to herself, relying no longer on men, but on her primary connections to the spirit women of her people and to the women of her own world.

The Aunt Lute Anthology of U.S. Women Writers, Vol. 2

The 20th Century

The story of U.S. literature in the twentieth century is in many ways the story of the hard won emergence of women's voices—all kinds of women's voices—into print. The Aunt Lute Anthology of U.S. Women Writers, Volume Two is an unprecedented effort to capture, in all its scope and variety, the extraordinary results of that florescence.

Frontline Feminism, 1975-1995

Essays from Sojourner's First 20 Years

This collection features over 80 essays from two decades of news, analysis, interviews, reviews, and letters from one of the nation's oldest and largest women's newspapers, Sojourner: The Women's Forum. These articles are a microcosm of the lively and committed debates around some of the key issues of second-wave feminism: identity politics, economic injustice, politics of the family, reproductive freedom, women's health, sex and sexuality, violence against women, and building alliances. This anthology is a must for everyone interested in a wide-ranging overview of the contemporary U.S. feminist movement and an in-depth analysis of the issues.


An absorbing, often fascinating world is created...not only is it an exploration of racism, it is often a powerful and moving testament to feminism.

The New York Times Book Review

Ephanie’s search for her own definition, for her strength, for her self, is intricate and stark as the spirit shawl she weaves, a bridge between her and Spider Woman, between the old power and new pain of her people. In her history lies the seed of promise, and her journeys weave hauntingly through many realities.

—Audre Lorde

The Woman Who Owned the Shadows is a book full of power…the kind of power that wells up from the earth like a hot spring, the power to change, to heal, to cleanse…

Joseph Bruchac

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