A longtime fan of Charles Bukowski and his chief inspirator John Fante, I recently did a search on Black Sparrow Press at Paperback Swap, knowing that press also to have published books by Paul Bowles, Mohammed Mrabet and other talents. Among the results was Eddie Chuculate’s Cheyenne Madonna, published by Black Sparrow Books, a revamp of John Martin’s original imprint.
Chuculate depicts the utter disconnect between pseudo-mythical forebears like Old Bull, a Cheyenne who ventures out to see the ocean for the first time in Galveston Bay, 1826, getting plucked and replaced by a hurricane, and the demeaning reality of modern “Indian artists”, who are rarely accepted by the art scene without that cultural qualifier, like Old Bull’s descendant, Jordan Coolwater, who we encounter as bored young boy, thoughtful teenager, struggling artist, escaped convict, and finally, father in this prize-winning collection of linked short stories.
Eddie Chuculate is an editor for the Trillium Literary Journal. Copies of Cheyenne Madonna may be found at new and used book stores in Denver.