Janet Campbell Hale

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Janet Campbell Hale (born January 11, 1946, Riverside, California)[1] is a Native American writer. Her father was a full-blood Coeur d'Alene, and her mother was of Kootenay, Cree and Irish descent[2]

In a sparse style that has been compared to Hemingway,[3] Hale's work often explores issues of Native American identity and discusses poverty, abuse, and the condition of women in society. She wrote Bloodlines: Odyssey of a Native Daughter (1993), which includes a discussion of the Native American experience as well as stories from her own life. She also wrote The Owl's Song (1974), The Jailing of Cecelia Capture (which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1985), Women on the Run (1999), and Custer Lives in Humboldt County & Other Poems (1978).[4]

Janet Campbell Hale has taught at Northwest Indian College,[5] Iowa State University, College of Illinois, and University of California at Santa Cruz,[6] and has served as resident writer at University of Oregon and University of Washington.[7] Hale currently lives on the Coeur d'Alene Reservation in De Smet, Idaho.


Capture is a major theme in Janet Campbell Hale's writing. The name of the protagonist in the eponymous Jailing of Cecelia Capture is named for capture, but is also both literally and figuratively captured at different points in the narrative. Part of the dynamics of Bloodlines is to invert the white narratives about the capture of white people by Native Americans, into an account of capture of Native peoples by European-descended people.[8] Escape and transformation of capture figure in several of her works.

See also[edit]


  • Kratzert, M. "Native American Literature: Expanding the Canon", Collection Building, volume 17/1 (1998), page 4
  • Dennis, Helen M. Native American Literature: Towards a Spatialized Reading. London, Routledge Publ., (2006), pp. 90–103

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