“Narrative Truth and Historical Identity”: Identifying as Choctaw and Irish in LeAnne Howe’s novel Shell Shaker

  • Linda Shaffer Northeastern State University


“Narrative Truth and Historical Identity” examines the complex relationship between poststructuralism, marginalization, language empowerment, and constructions of historical knowledge and truth. Employing the ideologies of both Derrida and Foucault, the article proposes and outlines the concept of literary discourse communities as one means of negotiating truth in a culturally diverse society. The article then provides an example of the potential for discourse and knowledge/truth construction through literary discourse communities by applying the concept to an interpretation of Choctaw author LeAnne Howe’s novel, Shell Shaker.