REVIEW By DR. HONEY DAWN KARIMA PETTIGREW, Ph.D.
What if you started dreaming of a culture that was yours, but wasn’t yours? What if your nights were filled with images of children and your days were innundated with Checker cabs? Ask Pearl,the protagonist in Taxicab to the Stars, and her answer will describe the plot of this engaging novel.
Creek author Kevin A Thompson tells the tale of Pearl, a succssful professional, who experiences a sudden epiphany. After years of functioning as Caucasian, Pearl unearths her family’s Native American heritage. Dreams reveal the value of revealing this Native heritage and preserving it, which inspires Pearl to acknowledge and embrace her culture.
While Pearl wrestles with her identity, she meets Terrell, a strong Creek Indian with a collection of Checker cabs. In the midst of the couple’s growing romance, Chief Frances Dawson struggles for self-determination and sovereignty for her tribe. Each storyline in this novel contributes an insight about nation-building, family ties and cultural preservation.
Kevin A. Thompson, a Creek writer, tells an interesting tale that will appeal to readers from a variety of backgrounds and lifestages. Many single people will be able to identify with Pearl and Terrell’s quest for true love and companionship. For parents and family members, this story reinforces the importance of building strong families. Native readers will appreciate the issues intertwined in the tale, which addresses tribal sovereignty, gaming, identity and racial stereotypes. Readers from other ethnicities will enjoy learning about Native culture through the use of Creek vocabulary, traditional beliefs and history.
Thompson skillfully incorporates the social and political issues that impact Indian Country into his novel. He also places Creek words, lifeways and historical events within the storyline, which serves to enlighten his audience. Taxicab to the Stars is a worthwhile read, which celebrates Native American life and culture, especially the resilience of the tribes of the Southeast.
Book info: Taxicab to the Stars by Kevin A. Thompson. Pittsburgh:Rosedog Books,2006,ISBN#:978-0-8059-8848-3,978-0-8059-8848-2,131pp,$16 paper.