National American Indian Heritage Month

Celebrate National American Indian Heritage Month in November with some fiction by acclaimed American Indian authors.

Ceremony book jacket

In Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko, a young World War II veteran returns to the Laguna Pueblo reservation where he feels estranged and alienated. Tayo, the veteran, searches for meaning and resolution to the despair he feels and learns of the value of ceremony in life.

James Welch’s novel Fools Crow depicts the Lone Eaters clan of the Blackfeet Indians in the time after the Civil War. Slowly, the Napikwan, white people, encroach upon these people and their way of life.

From the River's Edge by Elizabeth Cook-Lynn follows a trial in the 1960s over stolen cattle. Sioux John Tatekeya presses charges against a white man and the trial comes to represent a greater loss representative of their history.

House Made of Dawn book jacket

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969, House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday depicts a young Navajo man, Abel, caught between two worlds after he returns to the reservation after fighting in World War II.

A woman who has lived as a man, Father Damian fears discovery at the end of his life in Louise Erdrich’s novel The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. Nominated for the National Book Award, this book spans over fifty years to tell the story of Father Damian’s life and the Ojibwe.

For a collection of short stories, check out The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie. This darkly humorous collection of linked stories paints the complexity of modern life on the Spokane Indian Reservation.

Love Medicine book jacket

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine depicts life for several generations of families on a fictional reservation. Comprised of related stories, Erdrich captures contemporary life.

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Mean Spirit by Linda Hogan takes place in Oklahoma during its 1920s oil boom. Grace Blanket, owner of oil-rich land and an Osage Indian, is murdered and Stace Red Hawk, a government official, comes from Washington, D.C. to investigate.

Acclaimed novel and New York Times Notable Book, The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich follows the passage of a rare Ojibwe drum through time, both forward and backward, after a woman discovers it while appraising an estate.

Finally, check out Truth & Bright Water by Thomas King for a magical coming-of-age story. This ALA Notable Book follows two young cousins through one summer in Truth, Montana and the Bright Water Reserve across the river in Canada.

American Indian Authors

Find more books in the library by these American Indian authors:

Louise Erdrich

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