The House of Joshua

Nov 15th, 2000 | By | Category: 12-2: Land is Life, Media Reviews

By Mindy Thompson Fullilove
University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1999

Review by Faith Hagenhofer, Library Director, Nisqually Tribal Library

This is a series of more or less chronological autobiographical stories in which Dr. Fullilove, a psychiatrist, looks at personal relationships with place. She affirms each person’s need and right to tell his or her own story, as she tells hers.  Place is inseparable from time and relationships for Fullilove, who focuses each story on a particular personal relationship. She writes about her African-American, union activist father, a man who sought the strength of New Jersey’s ghettoes as his place to do right. Her European-American mother separates the places where she connects to her children from the places of her family of origin.

A portrait of societal racism emerges by the end of the book. Wonderfully, readers can also see part of the recipe for undoing these destructive forces–empowering each person to tell their stories. I would place this book alongside those of Anna Lee Walters and the less fictional books of Sherman Alexie.

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