Best Native American Books
The words “Native American authors” and “Native American literature” are, of course, oversimplified. Native Americans aren’t all the same. With over 500 Indian Nations recognized in the U.s, it’s crucial to realize that one Native lifestyle or culture does not always resemble another. Best native American books However, reading Native American works might help you better comprehend the lives of those who have been mostly forgotten in American history and literature.
Best Native American Books: Louise Erdrich’s The Night Watchman
The Night Watchman has been modeled on the author’s grandfather’s life, who worked like a night watchman since battling for Native American land and identity rights. The 2020 novel earned Louise Erdrich the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2021, as well as praise from Washington Post New York Times, Kirkus Reviews,& other publications. This novel is a significant pick for readers around, with exquisite prose & themes of love, mortality, and cultural identity.
Best Native American Books David Treuers’ Wounded Knee: The Heartbeat
This chronicle of Native American life, which has been big-listed for 2020 Andrew Carnegie Award for Excellence, takes the readers on a trip from the devastating 1890 massacre at Bloody Knee to the current day. That opposite story to European settler-centric histories, published in 2019, shows how numerous Native American tribes have handled with modern politics, current events, & scandals such as the forced integration of Native American youth into govt boarding schools. This nonfiction book is vital for its portrayal & reinforcement of Native American authors’ voices, even if the reporting & personal tales can be distressing to read.
Best Native American Books: Angeline Boulleys’ Firekeeper’s Daughter
Angeline Boulleys’ incendiary 2021 debut, Firekeeper’s Daughter, was also one of the greatest adolescent books of all time. The book is so well received that a Netflix adaptation is now in the works. Identity, addiction, & loyalty are all explored in depth in this novel. Daunis Fontaine is a heroine who resides just outside of the Ojibwe reserve as an unenrolled tribal member. However, after committing a murder, she is forced to dive headfirst into community in order to get the truth about what happened. As they race to a surprising revelation with Daunis, readers of different backgrounds will understand about more Native American culture.
Best Native American Books: Darcie Little Badger’s Elatsoe
Darcie Little Badger’s deliciously spooky 2020 novel transports readers to a realm of myth and monsters, ghosts, and spells. Elatsoe, a Lipan Apache adolescent who must simultaneously attend school and protect her family’s secrets, runs parallel to the supernatural. Elatsoe & her family go to the isolated community of Willowbee after a tragic loss to console loved ones, learn the truth, perhaps with the dead. This great children’s book about diversity is a must-read for teenagers and adults alike, with elements of family and justice.
Joy Harjo’s Poet Warrior: A Biography
best native American books :Joy Harjo, the 1st Native American to be named poet laureate of the United States, shares a peek of her own “poet-warrior” path in this 2021 masterpiece. Harjo’s poetry is as poetic as this remarkable biography. She delves into the anguish of missing her mother throughout the book. But she also elevates with precise tributes to her influences, which range from Walt Whitman to Navajo horse songs. It is one of Native American books which you should have on your shelves, whether you like poetry or memoir.
Native American Novels You Should Read
Best Native American Books: N. Scott Momaday’s House Made Of Dawn
The Pulitzer Prize for House Made of Dawn was awarded to Momaday in 1969, which should inform you how good it is. It tells the narrative of Abel, a World War II soldier who goes home to try to adjust to life in world he once knew, but he fails, gets drunk a lot, fights, and eventually commits a murder, landing him in jail for a period. His problems will only become worse once he is released from prison. While all of this may sound bleak, Abel eventually learns to appreciate his Native American roots, and the tale ends on a hopeful note. Required reading, both sad and wonderful.
Best Native American Books: Diane Glancy Pushing The Bear
Because a bear represents hunger and fulfilment in Cherokee mythology, the title of this historical story alludes to the Cherokees’ difficulties on the Trail of Sorrow when they were forcibly forced from their homeland. Because my own great grandma walked & survived the Path of Tears, I was attracted to Maritole, the storyteller, who acts as a mouthpiece for all of the women who are forcibly removed from their homes. Though Maritole is the major narrator, there are many other voices in the book who contribute to the despair and helplessness: Maritole’s partner, for illustration, who feels powerless; her dad, who manages to hold to hope; and others. A superb work on one of saddest and cureless periods in American history
Best Native American Books: Leanne Howe’s Shell Shaker
Shell Shaker by Le Anne Howe is a book about strong Native American women that tells the story of the death of 2 Choctaw chiefs, and also decolonization and corruption, in two time periods: today and 200 years ago. Red Shoes, the first chief, was assassinated by his own tribe, when AUDA Billy, a Choctaw lady, is accused of assassinating the second. What drives the readers through this urgent work is the connection between the two murders and the role played by the spirit, Shell Shaker. This novel demonstrates Howe’s stylistic brilliance.
Best Native American Books: Louise Erdrich’s Compositions
Erdrich’s Track is the third instalment of a family saga series that began with Love Medicine and ended with Beet Queen. Tracks, on the other hand, is my favorite because of the language and rich images. Nanapush and Pauline alternate as narrators, and Erdrich expertly weaves their stories together into a dramatic plot. Nanapush is chatting to his grandchild, Lulu, in an effort to reconnect her with her mom, who had sent her to a govt school when she was a child. Pauline, the second narrator, describes her relationship with Lulu’s mother & how she got envious of her, setting in motion a spiral into witchery and lunacy. Beautiful and strange.