Multcolib My Librarian Nick: Native American literature
Annotation:Silko's novel 'Almanac of the Dead' is included on another booklist of mine, but start with this, her first novel about a young Navajo war veteran who struggles with his tradition, demons, and the changing environment for Native Americans in the 20th century. Highly recommended.
Annotation:I'm a huge fan of Lopez, whose fiction AND non-fiction writing is original, eccentric, and full of different viewpoints. If you like this collection of stories, try his incredible picture book 'Crow and Weasel.'
Annotation:Welch, known for his brilliant novels 'Fools Crow' and 'Heartsong of Charging Elk', started with this illuminating story of reservation life in Montana. Published in 1974, when there were few candid books about the isolation and struggles of Native American reservation life. Highly recommended.
Annotation:If I had to pick one Alexie book to showcase, it would be this short story collection. Humor, sadness, and relationships all converge in connected stories unified by his always reliable prose, humanity, and sense of humor.
Annotation:From the highly underrated Sioux writer (don't call her 'Gertrude') who introduced a non-glamorous point-of-view of early 20th-century Native American life, in and off of reservations. A true pioneer in both her words and actions.
Annotation:Though I have not read a large amount of Native American poetry, I was stunned and moved by this collection from Harjo. Politics, myth, and inner balance all flow within a wonderful weave. If you like this, try her children's book, 'The Good Luck Cat.'
Annotation:I love to recommend this title, an unbelievably original gumbo of characters, folklore, struggle, and authenticity of life for Native American's in the Dakota's. Innovative, layered, and requiring patience, but oh, what a ride.
Annotation:Another collection of stories of Sioux life from an eccentric yet no less talented writer. Ribald, hilarious, realist, sad, and definitely not for kids, bookend this with any Sherman Alexie book for a unique combo. Or Jason Aaron's 'Scalped' series from Vertigo.
Annotation:Hogan's depiction of a fictional tribe in Washington State is endearing and an excellent narrative. Another view of a Native American war veteran but told within a frame of romance, rituals, tradition, and magic.
Annotation:Bruchac is a prolific and important author in Native American literature for children, most notably 'Code Talker,' yet I chose to include this awesome collection of scary myths and spooky tales. Beware the Amankanek!
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The legacy of Native American authors is monumental and flowing with humanity, humor, adversity, and redemption. If you want to explore the history or viewpoint of native cultures through their own eyes, try some of these incredible selections that display the versatility and talent of writers from America's indigenous nations.