Reading Native American Literature
Routledge – 2011 – 188 pages
Native American literature explores divides between public and private cultures, ethnicities and experience. In this volume, Joseph Coulombe argues that Native American writers use diverse narrative strategies to engage with readers and are ‘writing for connection’ with both Native and non-Native audiences.
Beginning with a historical overview of Native American literature, this book presents focused readings of key texts including:
• N. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn
• Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony
• Gerald Vizenor’s Bearheart
• James Welch’s Fool’s Crow
• Sherman Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
• Linda Hogan’s Power.
Suggesting new ways towards a sensitive engagement with tribal cultures, this book provides not only a comprehensive introduction to Native American literature but also a critical framework through which it may be read.
"Coulombe speaks about his subject engagingly, refreshingly, and with joy. Every page supplies evidence of Coulombe's arguments, and a rich bibliography and deep index will serve readers well. Highly recommended."
Introduction – Native American Literary Outreach and the Non-Native Reader 1. Following the Tracks: History and Context of Native Writing 2. Nothing but Words: From Confrontation to Connection in N. Scott Momaday’s House Made of Dawn 3. Revitalizing the Original Clan: Participant Readers in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony 4. Individualism vs. Separation: Imagining the Self to Foster Unity via Gerald Vizenor’s Bearheart 5. Writing for Connection: Cross-Cultural Understanding in James Welch’s Historical Fiction 6. The Approximate Size of His Favorite Humor: Sherman Alexie’s Comic Connections and Disconnections in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven 7. Stitching the Gap: Believing vs. Knowing in Linda Hogan’s Power Works Cited
Joseph L. Coulombe is Associate Professor of English at Rowan University, USA. He is author of Mark Twain and the American West (2003) and has published articles on Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Walt Whitman, Sherman Alexie, James Welch, and Emerson Bennett.