VanDevelder, Paul 1951(?)-
VANDEVELDER, Paul 1951(?)-
PERSONAL: Born c. 1951. Education: Attended University of Montana.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Little, Brown & Co., 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.
CAREER: Journalist, film maker, and author of nonfiction.
AWARDS, HONORS: National Endowment of the Arts award for short fiction, "Chrysallis," c. 1976; Best film, American Indian Film Festival, 1998, for Journey to Medicine; Best Feature Story by Non-Native, Native American Journalists Association, 2002.
Coyote Warrior: One Man, Three Tribes, and the Trial That Forged a Nation, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2004.
Also wrote film screenplay Journey to Medicine, 1996. Contributor to periodicals and journals, including National Geographic Traveler, Paris Match, Esquire, Forbes, Better Homes and Gardens, Sunset, Stern, Native Americas, Audubon, Native Peoples, San Francisco Chronicle, Sierra, Smithsonian, News Watch, Seattle Times, and is a syndicated columnist through the High Country News service.
SIDELIGHTS: For Paul VanDevelder, success as a writer came too early. After winning a National Endowment Arts award for short fiction, VanDevelder was inundated by offers from agents seeking to represent him. However, for fifteen years he wrestled with the conviction that "either I had nothing to say, or I didn't know how to say it," as he put it on the Time-Warner Books Web site. Finally, he entered journalism school and graduated with a determination to tell stories, not with words but with the camera. Only after twelve years as a photographer covering conflicts, natural disasters, and tragedies all over the world—and writing thousands of pithy, clever cutlines—did he believe he had the stories and the skills to truly become a writer.
In 1993, when Sierra magazine asked VanDevelder to cover emerging conflicts between Native American tribes, state governments, and extraction industries, his investigation commenced an adventure that spanned ten years and resulted in Coyote Warrior: One Man, Three Tribes, and the Trial That Forged a Nation, which "holds a mirror up to postcolonial America itself," in the words of Audubon reviewer Robert Braile. Much of the book is a salute to so-called "Coyote Warriors": well-educated Native Americans who use law and science to defend tribal rights and reclaim privileges guaranteed by treaty. At the same time, he provides a sweeping chronicle of the interplay between the U.S. government and Native Americans over the past two hundred years, beginning with the decisions of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall that gave Indians their independent but protected status. He also tells the fascinating story of the Cross family, descendants of a Mandan chief who welcomed explorers Lewis and Clark, and their struggle to defend tribal lands threatened by a huge dam project, or at least get proper compensation. The result, in the words of a Kirkus Reviews contributor, is a "solid case study in emerging trend: American Indian lawyers' use of the courts to extract rights and dollars hidden away in long-forgotten treaties."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Albuquerque Journal, December 3, 2004, review of Coyote Warrior: One Man, Three Tribes, and the Trial That Forged a Nation, p. F1.
Audubon, November-December, 2004, review of Coyote Warrior, p. 94.
Booklist, August, 2004, Deborah Donovan, review of Coyote Warrior, p. 1883.
Esquire, October, 2004, review of Coyote Warrior.
Eugene Register Guard, December 3, 2004, review of Coyote Warrior, p. G6.
Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2004, review of Coyote Warrior, p. 531.
Library Journal, June 15, 2004, Margaret Atwater-Singer, review of Coyote Warrior, p. 84.
Milwaukee Journal, August 21, 2004, review of Coyote Warrior.
Missoulian, September 30, 2004, review of Coyote Warrior, p. 1.
Montana Lawyer, October, 2004, review of Coyote Warrior.
Native Peoples, September 2004, review of Coyote Warrior, p. 86.
Oregonian, November 24, 2004, review of Coyote Warrior, p. E8.
Outside, August, 2004, review of Coyote Warrior, p. 37.
Publishers Weekly, May 17, 2004, review of Coyote Warrior, p. 40.
San Diego Tribune, September 5, 2004, review of Coyote Warrior.
San Francisco Chronicle, August 29, 2004, review of Coyote Warrior, p. M5.
Time Warner Web site, http://www.twbookmark.com/ (November 22, 2004), interview with VanDevelder.