- to Debbie Reese
- October 16th, 2011
What if instead of thinking of John Smelcer as your enemy and someone to discredit, you became a supporter of his writing. I know the man. He's a very kind, compassionate, loyal, and generous friend. The books you've slammed like The Great Death was the product of years of his full-blood grandmother and her older sister telling him the story of their lives around 1920 or so. I've met both these grand old ladies. John and I once went to Morrie Secondchief's cabin to get her caribou permit so that we could shoot a caribou for her. John told the story with heartfelt love and respect. He speaks the language fluently, that's where the Native words came from. In act, his grandmothers were among the dozens of elders who taught him to speak Ahtna. The myths in the book were told to him by elders over decades. Why not do something rare in humanity--admit that you may have been wrong about him and tell the world that his novels are worth reading?