The Second Six-Pack
The Oklahoma Reads Oklahoma Book for 2005

Walking the Choctaw Road
by Tim Tingle

Cinco Puntos Press

2003, pp. 128
ISBN 0938317741

“We are clay people. We are a people of miracles.”

Tingle has arranged these “stories from Red People memory” in chronological order, from the days when most Choctaws were still living in Mississippi, to the Trail of Tears into Okla Homma (an event that “lingers deep in the memory bank of every Choctaw”), to modern day tales of Tingle’s own family. Truthfulness, generosity, respect for elders, and otherworldly occurrences are hallmarks of traditional Choctaw narratives. These stories give readers a sense of what it is to be Choctaw. “Chata hapia hoke!”

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"The good news for readers is that these written versions of Tim's tales lose none of the gentle intensity of his memorable oral tellings. Their subjects range from the Trail to Tears to memories of his own childhood. . . Walking the Choctaw Road, like one of those old Choctaw chants that kept the people's feet going along the long journey, will stay with you and lend you some of its strength. Cross the river with these stories—they will give you safe passage."
Joseph Bruchac, author of Tell Me a Tale

Tingle is as skilled a storyteller as a collector. His compilation of Choctaw folklore is a pleasure to read, from introduction to final tale. His writing pulls readers into each tale, whether the theme is more personal essay or true legend with a captivating plot.
Voice of Youth Advocates magazine

Poetic language and a compelling but quiet voice honor the Native American traditions for both the native and the non-native reader.
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About the Author

An Oklahoma Choctaw and a collector of Choctaw oral literature, Tingle was the recipient of the 2003 John Henry Faulk Award, given by the Tejas Storytelling Association for "outstanding contributions to the art of storytelling." Tingle has performed across America and toured Germany presenting Native American songs and legends to American military children and their families. Four of Tingle's audio recordings have won awards from Storytelling World. He was selected by the Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers as "Contemporary Storyteller of the Year" in 2002. Walking the Choctaw Road was a finalist for the 2004 Oklahoma Book Award. He resides in Canyon Lake, Texas.

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