The third largest continent on our globe seems to be slightly overlooked, by historical fiction most of all.
Was anything happening on those vast, diverse lands before the 15th century?
The logic says – yeah, probably, something has to be going on over there. They say the Bering straits were bridged several times by the most recent Ice Age, allowing some people to sneak in and spread far and wide.
Well, ok, there were people, but if you attempt to mirror the history through literary fiction, those people did absolutely nothing for he millennias to come, waiting patiently to be discovered.
And it really took time! Those, allowed to write and interpret history, had really made them wait before offering them their allocated part of either a noble or a cruel savage. What a nice part! So appealing, the kids all over the world love sticking feathers into their hair, playing in Indians all day long. Even the adults’ costume parties are full of such “Indians”. All over the world people seems to know everything that there is to know about thousands of different cultures and nations that populated (and still are) the third largest continent, manly by sticking feathers into their heads and making loud, weird-sounding noises (and I know what I’m talking about; I lived on three different continents for years).
Through the recent decades, pre-Columbian history seems to gain some serious attention in the textbooks (not around the world, gods forbid, but at least in North America itself). Those books are few and far between, but they are there and it’s a beginning. Yet, in the literature fiction, this niche seems still vacant. There are many great novels on the post-Columbian times, but none seems to look further than the end of the 15th century. Why?
I was told – because nobody cares. Well, it’s a tricky matter. Nobody knows, so nobody cares. Inform them (nicely enough, but that’s what historical fiction for) and their interest may arise. So I’m going to do just that.
One novel is out there and another one is on the grill. And everything is 15th century and back, I promise. No digressing, no sailing caravels around; the Europeans are still safely across the Atlantic.
It turned out there were quite a few empires, confederations and spectacular clashes all over the today’s US and Canada and I didn’t have to look hard to find them.