Rocky Mountain Review 
of Language and Literature

Volume 65, Number 1
Spring 2011


Integrating Fantasy and Reality 
in Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit

Mara Reisman 
Northern Arizona University

In Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson problematizes separating history from storytelling. By narratively juxtaposing reality (Jeanette's history) with fairytale stories and fantastic spaces, Winterson complicates the truths of each setting, disrupts the binary imperative, and reveals the spaces where change can occur. The biblical, fantasy, and personal narratives are the sites in Oranges where wall-like belief systems are scrutinized and where meaning and identity are affirmed, contested, and then either reaffirmed or deconstructed. Whether the narrative's power is ultimately reaffirmed or disrupted, these remain sites of instability. By describing battles for interpretive power like the one that occurs over Jeanette's Fuzzy Felt depiction of Daniel in the lions' den, Winterson shows the fluidity of meaning and exposes what is ideologically at stake in these established narratives. Winterson also emphasizes the symbiotic relationship between stories and reality. This article explores the multiple functions of the fantasy stories in order to demonstrate their social importance within the novel and their cultural influence outside the novel.

Figures of Flight and Entrapment 
in Edwidge Danticat's Krik? Krak!

Wilson C. Chen 
Benedictine University

Despite the existence of a rich, continually growing body of scholarship on Edwidge Danticat's short-story cycle Krik? Krak!, still under-examined is the theme of flight. This article explores Danticat's development of the theme by presenting a reading of "A Wall of Fire Rising" in relation to the preceding story, "Nineteen Thirty-Seven," and also in connection with the flying Africans legend, Haitian revolutionary folklore, and twentieth-century literary representations of flight such as Alejo Carpentier's The Kingdom of This World and Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon. By engaging with these narrative traditions of flight, Danticat is able to establish key linkages across African and Haitian diasporic history, investigate new forms of bondage and entrapment, and also rethink a politics of resistance through a framework of gender.

The Whiteness of the Soldier-Speaker 
in Brian Turner's Here, Bullet

Samina Najmi 
California State University, Fresno

In Brian Turner's collection of Iraq War poems Here, Bullet (2005), the soldier-speaker minimizes his white military subjectivity in order to preserve his own individuality. Turner meets the representational challenges of first-hand war poetry through his emphasis on narrative descriptions, his focus on natural objects and mundane particularities, juxtaposed with references to ancient Iraqi culture, and through the surrealism of his imagery. Together, these poetic strategies enable him to process and articulate his experiences in Iraq without succumbing to the paradoxically empowering and obliterating effects of his own uniformed whiteness in occupied Iraq. In the process, Turner gives space to a multiplicity of "observation posts" that decenter the lyric consciousness and enable the reader's empathy.

Rhetorical Invention, Conflict Resolution, 
and Critical Awareness in Composition Instruction

Erik Juergensmeyer 
Fort Lewis College

This article argues for a more comprehensive application of conflict resolution principles in composition instruction. It demonstrates how the discipline of rhetoric and composition complements conflict resolution, especially through theories of rhetorical invention. It identifies three specific invention practices -- Karen LeFevre's social collective view, Carl Rogers' collaborative rhetoric, and Jim Corder's generative ethos -- and demonstrates how these strategies can improve students' critical awareness of conflicting viewpoints.


Promoting Vulgarity by Teaching Slang in the Classroom

David A. Fein 
University of North Carolina at Greensboro

We, as language teachers, tend to avoid the teaching of slang for a number of reasons. An argument can be made, however, for integrating a certain amount of carefully chosen slang terms into language teaching at every level, thereby expanding our students' linguistic horizons and better preparing them for study abroad.


Louisiana Culture From the Colonial Era to Katrina, ed. John Lowe 
Reviewer: Billy Merck

English Origins, Jewish Discourse, and the Nineteenth-Century British Novel: Reflections On A Nested Nation, by Heidi Kaufman 
Reviewer: Whitney Helms

Imagining Virginia Woolf: An Experiment in Critical Biography, by Maria DiBattista 
Reviewer: Susan Nyikos

Narnia and the Fields of Arbol: The Environmental Vision of C.S. Lewis, by Matthew Dickerson and David O'Hara 
Reviewer: Débora Maldonado-DeOliveira

Approaches to Teaching Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God and Other Works, ed. John Lowe 
Reviewer: Cynthia A. Cavanaugh

Sherwood Anderson Remembered, ed. Welford Dunaway Taylor 
Reviewer: Amber A. LaPiana

Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion since 1960, by Amy Hungerford 
Reviewer: Ben S. Bunting, Jr.

Enduring Words: Literary Narrative in a Changing Media Ecology, by Michael Wutz 
Reviewer: Jacob Hughes