As Gerald Vizenor explains in the following interview, the act of going away has allowed him to return home richer as an individual and as a writer. Asia has been especially important in this regard: it was in Japan just after the Korean War that Vizenor experienced his first major literary discovery--haiku. Then, over twenty years later, after having published numerous books of poetry (including several books of haiku) and journalism, a year teaching in Tianjin, China resulted in Vizenor 's second novel, Griever: An American Monkey King in China. We talked with Gerald Vizenor in his office at UC-Berkeley in early January 1992, just a few months after the publication of The Heirs of Columbus, a work which, appearing as it did in the face of the quincentennial, announced in no uncertain terms, "I'm not a victim of Columbus." For a mixed-blood Native American, that was quite an assertion. Looking at his own life and that around him, Vizenor continues re-shaping it, joined by the trickster who assists him in remembering "how to turn pain and horror into humor. "
The University of Chicago Press
Chicago Review, Vol. 39, No. 3/4, A North Pacific Rim Reader (1993), pp. 50-54