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Chapter 5 - John Rollin Ridge

from Part I - Careers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 June 2022

Cody Marrs
Affiliation:
University of Georgia
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Summary

Readers of American literature increasingly already know something about the career of Cherokee writer and editor John Rollin Ridge. In the preface to his 2018 breakout novel There There, Tommy Orange offers readers his version of Ridge’s claim to fame: “The first novel by a Native person, and the first novel written in California, was written in 1854, by a Cherokee guy named John Rollin Ridge.”1 The novel Orange references is Ridge’s The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murieta: The Celebrated California Bandit, a semifictional story of a Mexican war veteran driven to vengeance by the cruelty of white settlers. Although it did not sell well in Ridge’s lifetime, Penguin Random House’s new addition suggests that Ridge’s importance to college syllabi and American literary scholarship will only deepen in the years ahead. As Ridge’s biographer notes, while it failed to provide Ridge with the financial security he desired, the novel birthed a public interest in Joaquín Murieta’s story that has been with us ever since.2

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • John Rollin Ridge
  • Edited by Cody Marrs, University of Georgia
  • Book: American Literature in Transition, 1851–1877
  • Online publication: 15 June 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108565615.008
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  • John Rollin Ridge
  • Edited by Cody Marrs, University of Georgia
  • Book: American Literature in Transition, 1851–1877
  • Online publication: 15 June 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108565615.008
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • John Rollin Ridge
  • Edited by Cody Marrs, University of Georgia
  • Book: American Literature in Transition, 1851–1877
  • Online publication: 15 June 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108565615.008
Available formats
×