Classics of Native American Literature
Native American literature is rich and diverse, spanning across a wide range of genres and styles. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most prominent classics of Native American literature that have made a significant impact on the literary world.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Published in 2007, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” is a coming-of-age novel written by Sherman Alexie. The novel follows the story of Arnold Spirit Jr., a teenage boy who struggles with his identity as a member of the Spokane Indian Reservation while attending an all-white school outside of the reservation. The novel deals with themes such as poverty, racism, and the search for identity, making it a popular and influential work of Native American literature.
Written by Louise Erdrich and published in 1984, “Love Medicine” is a collection of interconnected stories that examine the lives of several Native American families living on a reservation in North Dakota. The stories cover a wide range of themes, including love, sacrifice, and betrayal, and incorporate elements of magical realism and Native American mythology. The book won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction in 1984, and has since been widely regarded as a masterpiece of contemporary Native American literature.
House Made of Dawn
“House Made of Dawn” is a novel by N. Scott Momaday that was first published in 1966. The novel tells the story of a young Native American man named Abel who returns to his reservation after fighting in World War II. The novel deals with themes such as loss of identity, cultural conflict, and the search for meaning in life. “House Made of Dawn” won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969 and is widely regarded as a classic of Native American literature.
Written by Leslie Marmon Silko and first published in 1977, “Ceremony” is a novel that explores the experiences of a young Native American man named Tayo as he returns from fighting in World War II and tries to reintegrate into his community on the Laguna Pueblo reservation. The novel deals with themes such as the effects of war, cultural heritage, and healing, and incorporates elements of Native American mythology and storytelling. “Ceremony” has been widely regarded as a classic of contemporary Native American literature and has influenced subsequent generations of Native American writers.
In conclusion, Native American literature has a rich history filled with compelling works that tackle important themes and issues. The classics listed above are just a few examples of the many works of Native American literature that readers can explore to gain a deeper understanding of this vibrant and unique literary tradition.