>2002 Wordcraft Circle Writer of the Year Winner!
Womack is as skillful at capturing the gritty textures of an Indian settlement in 1902 as he is at conveying the abstract loneliness of a present-day Oklahoma City gay bar. Seamlessly weaving together past and present, dreams and reality, and populated by a large cast of eccentric, sharply drawn characters, Drowning in Fire is a provocative novel of sexual and cultural identity, filled with the best traits of the people it portrays: wisdom and compassion.
A satisfying and well-written novel. Recommended for most public library collections.
There is much to praise in Womack's rendering of the uneasy dawning of gay sexuality within the competitive world of teenage boys, the stark reality of small town life and the multiple frustrations of racist and cultural politics, and the sustaining power of storytelling and memory.
Lambda Book Report
Melding memory and poetic vision, grim conflict and sly humor, Womack provides in this novel a powerful, richly crafted evocation of tribal specificity and same-sex love.
Gay and Lesbian Review
A review can only praise rather than convey adequately the complexity of the structure and the languagewords are seen as objects, mirrors, weaponsand the imagery of fire and water central to the novel. Dozens of critical articles are sure to analyze the artistry of this first novel by a new and distinctive Native American voice.
Southwest Book Views
Sets the artistic standard for all writers who take seriously the call to give something meaningful back to their communities.
Studies in American Indian Literature
Womack breaks new ground by depicting gay Native characters whose sexual identities tie them to, rather than separate them from, both their tribal histories and their present-day tribal cultures.
Western American Literature
What Womack accomplishes with this novel is a shattering of myth. Josh Henneha could be everyman, regardless of race, culture, or sexual preference.
Drowning in Fire looms like spring thunderclouds on the plains. It sets on the horizons of a new Indian literature and the new American studies as part of an emerging genre of texts that truly evoke the reciprocity between life and land and between past and future.
American Indian Quarterly