This book does not attempt to argue for cultural "truths," but, rather, argues for radical disruption of master narratives through the telling and retelling of stories that disrupt dominant formations of Cherokee history and culture that would erase the presence of same-sex desire and nonbinary gender systems . This is a political and activist project.
Review: "The term asegi (asegi udanto/udant[i/a] / udantedi, “strange heart” / “spirited”), one of multiple Cherokee terms for Two-Spirit people, functions as the methodological framework for Asegi Stories (6). Rejecting the possibility of reclaiming any sort of untainted knowledge of Cherokee past(s), Driskill instead undertakes a researched return to and reimagining of pivotal moments in Cherokee history, looking for asegi possibilities. Comprised of an introduction, epilogue, and five chapters, Asegi Stories thus takes part in a process of “re-storying,” which Driskill defines as “a retelling and reimagining of stories that restores and continues cultural memories” (3). To do so, the text weaves interviews, archival documents, literature, and personal experience into what [End Page 115] Ohlone/Costanoan-Esselen/Chumash writer Deborah Miranda might term a decolonial mosaic..."
From the review: As a writer, Driskill veers constantly between the vernacular and the scholarly in a manner that can be frustrating to the casual reader. A perfectly fine sentence begins with “Cherokee Two-Spirit and queer people have been largely hidden or ignored in the colonial past or present,” before quickly descending into academic cant, “and through the restorying of Cherokee histories, Cherokee Two-Spirit people are performing a politics of decolonial imagination.”
Huh? Stripped of its jargon, Driskill’s sentence might more clearly state, “Cherokee Two-Spirit people carry with them an ancient heritage of affirming multiple genders, even as a dominant Anglo society is only beginning to recognize transgendered people.”
Fortunately, Driskill’s prose is grounded in the frank language of letters and diary entries of 16th- and 17th-century European explorers who were both baffled and outraged by their encounters with gender-defying Cherokees...