What's Been Said

"This is no stodgy history or ethnographic monograph, but a book about art so grandly conceived and executed as to constitute a work of art in itself."  American Indian Art Magazine

"The Trickster Shift is a visually stunning combination of cultural philosophy, social commentary and art criticism. Nowhere else is the subject of Native humour in art explored in such depth by the very people who employ it." Aboriginal Voices

"Ryan's book is extravagant and witty, full of gorgeous art and artist dialogue, edged with irony, comic awareness and acute perceptions." Bellingham Herald

"In The Trickster Shift Canadian anthropologist Allan J. Ryan astutely mixes interviews, stories, detailed scholarship and vivid plates -- paintings, drawings, photography, assemblages, installations, stoneware, mixed-media, metals, and numerous other artforms and materials -- into a standard-setting work in the field of First Nations art." Independent Publisher Magazine Online

"There's nothing dry about this book except its wit. The title subtly alludes both to the artist's role as shape-shifting shaman, and to Trickster's current tenure as an instrument for cultural critique. It's a reference as well to the gentle but profound shifting of realities that results from the transformative power of humour on cultural perspectives." Monday Magazine

"An outstanding study of the trickster in the consciousness of Native artists and their visual art... The first formal, book-length study of the traces and figurative treasons of tricksters in contemporary Native visual arts." Gerald Vizenor

"The author takes a body of artwork that has not previously been treated in any seriously critical fashion, and offers new, refreshing, and convincing insights that challenge previous ideas about Canadian First Nations contemporary art." Aldona Jonaitis

"Ryan's The Trickster Shift is a richly illustrated volume that is destined to become a classic. A triumph of first-rate scholarship, it is a post-modern commentary on the mythical figure that inspired Indian humour long before the whiteman set foot on this continent." Harvey Mindess

"Ryan's book captures the subtle humour and social satire of the new Native arts in Canada ... If there's one book to read for insight into [this] new world ... this is it." George F. Macdonald