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Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Paula Gunn Allen Fund

Was shocked to see this bulletin, forwarded by Leah. More about Paula Gunn Allen, who easily holds her place among the most important Native American writers, can be found here.

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The Paula Gunn Allen Fund has just been established to provide financial assistance to Paula, whose car, double-wide trailer, clothes, appliances, books, and papers burned in a fire in mid-October.

Evidently, some oily rags, stored in a shed on her newly built deck, ignited and burned her house and car. Paula, who was in the house when the fire started, suffered smoke inhalation and was briefly hospitalized after the fire. Two weeks later, her landlady found Paula unconscious on the floor of her temporary apartment. Hospitalized again, Paula was in a coma for at least six days and in the hospital for two weeks. Since returning to her apartment, she has responded well to physical and lung therapy and her spirits are better than they have been in some time. As of today, she can walk ten steps without a cane.

This has been a hard year for Paula. Just before the fire, she had successfully completed radiation therapy for lung cancer, which doctors found in its early
stages. The treatment, however, debilitated her.

Paula has given us all so much over the years through her creative and scholarly writing and her direction of the 1977 NEH-MLA Summer Seminar in Native American Literature. Your donation can help her rebuild her life.

Send your donation to The Paula Gunn Allen Fund, Account No. 0129540739, Bank of America, 228 North Main Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437. (Include "The," which is part of the fund's legal name). The donation is not tax deductible.

Paula also needs copies of books containing her essays or poems because hers burned in the fire. Fortunately, she had deposited most of her papers in the library of the University of Oregon several years before the fire.

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If you have questions, feel free to contact me. Patricia Smith and others are planning some events to help raise funds. I will inform you about these as
plans are finalized.

For health reasons, I am not coming to MLA this year. Happy holidays.

Sincerely,

LaVonne

A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff
Professor Emerita of English
University of Illinois at Chicago

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