by Leslie Marmon Silko
After World War II, Tayo grapples with both post-traumatic stress disorder and his
bi-racial heritage. The
veteran is also rejected by the Pueblo and white communities during
this time of great distress. Tayo's only peace wavers between spirituality and substance abuse before
he comes to terms with his rough
by Sherman Alexie
Alexie's story is about the ascent and collapse of a
blues band, Coyote Springs. The band members are from
the Spokane Reservation, and each channels his/her frustrations
and struggles into the music. But infighting and addiction
leads to the bands unraveling.
House Made of Dawn
by M. Scott Momaday
This Pulitzer Prize winner is consider among the
greatest works of Native American literature. Overlooked corners of reservation life
are detailed, and historians praise DAWN's detailed, accurate
depiction of peyote. Some events were inspired by an actual
incident of a Native American murdering a New Mexico state trooper that sent shocks throughout the reservation and state.
The Plague of Doves
by Louise Erdrich
Plague of Doves earned Louise Erdrich a Pulitzer Prize nomination in 2009.
Set in North Dakota, DOVES spans multiple generations of the same family.
Murder and false accusations leads to retaliation, and
three innocent Native Americans are lynched. The
innocent men's family member weave in and out of the lives
those responsible for the heinous murders and lies.
by James Welch
This widely-honored novel chronicles how American
settlers destroyed indigenous ways of life. Young Blackfoot man Fools Crow
comes of age at one of the most turbulent eras in his tribe's history. During the
very real Marias Massacre, as the
bodies hit the floor, Fools Crow must find
parts of himself and display leadership skills he never thought possible — all in the interest of
by Alfredo Vea, Jr
Beto, a Chicano, lives in two worlds -- one of Native American spirituality, the
other in Spanish Catholic mysticism. On Buckeye Road, members of marginalized
religious, ethnic, and other demographics find solace and help. Their differing philosophies on faith add
texture to lives
forced outside the mainstream.
The Heirs of Columbus
by Gerald Vizeno
Gerald Vizenor re-imagines Christopher Columbus as
a half-Mayan, half-Sephardic Jew hoping to return to his American homeland. In
the future, his descendants hope to do the same with what remains of the
by Mitch Cullin
Narrator Jeliza-Rose spends her summer with
Barbie doll heads inside an abandoned Texas farmhouse. Over time, she wanders
into the grounds' huge grass fields and loses herself to dreamlike adventures.
(TIDELAND is the third of Cullin's Texas Trilogy, preceded
by Wompyjawed and Branches.)
Green Grass, Running Water
by Thomas King
Thomas King is known for his
humor and satire. GRASS/WATER combines
spirituality with the story of four tribal elders in a
mental institution whose lives intersect with women from their religious
tradition. The elders' stories culminate in a climactic
Blackfoot Sun Dance.
Ravensong: A Novel
by Lee Maracle
RAVENSONG is the reality of a Pacific Northwest
tribe after World War II. A flu
epidemic and a rush of white settlers threatens the tribe's already tenuous
cohesion. 17-year-old Stacey finds herself stuck right in the middle.
From the River's Edge
by Elizabeth Cook-Lynn
EDGE is about tensions between Native Americans and European settlers.
Sioux tribal members win a trial about cattle rustling and stealing,
they are forced to return to court. Sioux families begin testifying against each other,
and main character John Tatekeya sadly notes how far his tribe
has fallen thanks to colonialism.
by Helen Hunt Jackson
RAMONA is a tragic romance built around the true story of the
Ponca tribe fighting for its Nebraska homelands, The heroine is a
half-Native American and half-Scot. She renounces her Scottish heritage for
the man she loves. Both are chastised by the government
and their peers and must steal away to find a comfortable personal peace.
Remnants of the First Earth
by Ray Young Bear
Edgar Bearchild navigates the perilous balance of ancient tradition with
modern stresses. In the 1950s, Bearchild must overcome
challenges on the Black Eagle Child Settlement, including poverty and
racism. As he grows older, he becomes aware of the truths within his
Last Standing Woman
by Winona LaDuke
Native American politician, activist
and writer Winona LaDuke delivers a profound, detailed look at
her Anishinaabe tribes
history. Standing Woman covers
7 generations, beginning in the 1860s with the first
European contact. LaDuke's story offers solace and solidarity to others
facing isolation and the loss of traditional ways of life
due to European invasion.
by Linda Hogan
Two Osage families in Oklahoma ignite in a
violent uproar over the discovery of oil. One Osage landowners is found
Politics and conspiracies abound, and justice is
finally served during a time when many youth
are leaving the tribe for a more "Western" lifestyle.
The Story Catcher
by Mari Sandoz
A young Sioux boy
beneath a banner of war, hunting, medicine and more. He
earns the name Story Catcher for his passion to
chronicle as much of his tribe's history as he can.
Story Catcher's emotions are challenged as he learns about great tragedy and
The Grass Dancer
by Susan Power
Power brings more than 100 years of Dakota Sioux history vivid life through examples of
magic realism done right. 17-year-old Harley Wind Soldier's life changes when his family's real history
becomes the forefront of his life. Other actual events and Native
American spiritual traditions weave in and out of the story.
The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta
by John Rollin Ridge
This early example of Native American literature focuses on
a Mexican and [many believe]Cherokee. Murieta
against a society that was closed to the nonwhites.
During the California Gold Rush, he was considered a
hero and Robin Hood figure by many. Others
considered him a criminal.
by John Joseph Mathews
This semi-autobiographical novel involves
Challenge Windzer, a
young Osage man returning home from university and
military service. These experiences bring on a newfound isolation from his
family and friends. And when the Oklahoma oil boom hits tribal lands, everything
begins slipping from his weakening grip.
The Fast Red Road: A Plainsong by Stephen Graham Jones
Jones proudly picks up his pen and shoots down
myths and misconceptions about Native American
tribes that swirl across pop culture. PLAINSONG addresses the western genre and
the real truths of forced
living outside the mainstream.