This introduction to contemporary Native American literature is suitable for students with little or no knowledge of the subject, or of Native American culture or history.
It examines influential texts in the context of the historical moment of their production, with reference to significant literary developments. Most importantly, Native literature is assessed within the wider socio-political context of American colonialism, the history of Federal-Indian relations and policies, popular perceptions of 'Indians', and contemporary Native economic, social, and political realities.
A survey of early Native literature provides the framework for considering the development of Native writings throughout the twentieth century. Focusing primarily upon late twentieth-century writings, the study begins with the moment that is widely defined as marking the 'renaissance' of contemporary Native American literature: the awarding of the 1969 Pulitzer Prize to the Kiowa writer N. Scott Momaday for his novel House Made of Dawn.
The subsequent analysis of key writers and texts includes a biography and brief bibliographical survey of each writer's work, with a detailed analysis of one text considered to be particularly important in the field, and considerations of significant topics such as cultural translation, humour, gender, and the role of the reader. The study concludes with an overview of current developments and emerging writers.
About the Author
Rebecca Tillett is Lecturer in American Literature and Culture at the University of East Anglia
Table of Contents
The Emergence and Development of Native American Literature 6
Seminal Writers: N. Scott Momaday, James Welch and Leslie Marmon Silko 34
Writing Women: Louise Erdrich, Anna Lee Walters and Luci Tapahonso, 1980-2000 67
Tricksters and Critics: Simon Ortiz, Louis Owens and Gerald Vizenor, 1980-2000 101
Extending the Canon: Recent Native Writing 136
Bibliography and Further Reading 164