Special Collections

#NativeReads for Adults

Description: In honor of Native American History month, check out these great reads by authors with strong connections to Native communities. #adults


Showing 1 through 25 of 32 results

All Our Relations

by Winona Laduke

Haymarket Books proudly brings back into print Winona LaDuke's seminal work of Native resistance to oppression.This thoughtful, in-depth account of Native struggles against environmental and cultural degradation features chapters on the Seminoles, the Anishinaabeg, the Innu, the Northern Cheyenne, and the Mohawks, among others. Filled with inspiring testimonies of struggles for survival, each page of this volume speaks forcefully for self-determination and community.Winona LaDuke was named by Time in 1994 as one of America's fifty most promising leaders under forty. In 1996 and 2000, LaDuke served as Ralph Nader's vice presidential running mate in the Green Party.

Date Added: 10/12/2018


"All the Real Indians Died Off"

by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker

Unpacks the twenty-one most common myths and misconceptions about Native AmericansIn this enlightening book, scholars and activists Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker tackle a wide range of myths about Native American culture and history that have misinformed generations. Tracing how these ideas evolved, and drawing from history, the authors disrupt long-held and enduring myths such as:

"Columbus Discovered America" "Thanksgiving Proves the Indians Welcomed Pilgrims" "Indians Were Savage and Warlike" "Europeans Brought Civilization to Backward Indians" "The United States Did Not Have a Policy of Genocide" "Sports Mascots Honor Native Americans" "Most Indians Are on Government Welfare" "Indian Casinos Make Them All Rich" "Indians Are Naturally Predisposed to Alcohol"

Each chapter deftly shows how these myths are rooted in the fears and prejudice of European settlers and in the larger political agendas of a settler state aimed at acquiring Indigenous land and tied to narratives of erasure and disappearance. Accessibly written and revelatory, "All the Real Indians Died Off" challenges readers to rethink what they have been taught about Native Americans and history.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Date Added: 10/22/2021


The American Indian Mind in a Linear World

by Donald Fixico

This book presents an ethnohistorical examination of American Indian thinking and philosophy and strives to explain the complexity of the American Indian mind in its traditional cultural and natural environment and in contrast to the American mainstream linear world. It is argued that Indian thinking is visual; circular; concerned with the relationships among all things, including both human and nonhuman entities; embedded in both the physical and metaphysical realities; and focused on achieving balance, both within oneself and in the community. Chapter 1 details this world view. Other chapters discuss: (2) the importance of story and oral tradition as the basis of traditional knowledge; (3) circular philosophy, the significance of the circle of life and its cycles, and the"natural democracy" of respect involving all things in the universe; (4) Indian intellectualism and the nature of Indian genius; (5) boarding school experiences, conflicts between White teachers and Indian students, and the resilience of the Native intellect; (6) origin and history of American Indian studies, the need for it, and how it is striving to become an academic discipline; (7) Native scholarship, cultural ownership, and research protocols in Indian communities; (8) Indian-institutional relationships and the development of tribal colleges and museums; and (9) the center of the circle of life, balance, and well-being. (Contains references in notes, an index, and an extensive bibliography) (SV)

Date Added: 10/22/2021


Bad Indians

by Deborah Miranda

This beautiful and devastating book—part tribal history, part lyric and intimate memoir—should be required reading for anyone seeking to learn about California Indian history, past and present.

Deborah A. Miranda tells stories of her Ohlone Costanoan Esselen family as well as the experience of California Indians as a whole through oral histories, newspaper clippings, anthropological recordings, personal reflections, and poems.

The result is a work of literary art that is wise, angry, and playful all at once, a compilation that will break your heart and teach you to see the world anew.

Date Added: 11/12/2019


Bloodlines

by Janet Campbell Hale

A collection of essays--on writing, American Indian reservation life, being a woman, and family--by a distinguished writer and member of the Coeur d'Alene tribe. In haunting prose, Hale interweaves her own experiences with striking portraits of relatives into a rich tapestry of history, storytelling, and remembrance.

Date Added: 10/12/2018


Blue Ravens

by Gerald Vizenor

Gerald Vizenor weaves an engrossing historical portrayal of Native American soldiers in World War I. Blue Ravens is set at the start of the twentieth century in the days leading up to the Great War in France, and continues in combat scenes at Chateau-Thierry, Montbrehain, and Bois de Fays. The novel contains many of Vizenor's recurrent cultural themes--the power and irony of trickster stories, the privilege of survivance over victimry, natural reason and resistance. After serving in the American Expeditionary Forces, two brothers from the Anishinaabe culture return to the White Earth Reservation where they grew up. They eventually leave for a second time to live in Paris where they lead successful and creative lives. With a spirited sense of "chance, totemic connections, and the tricky stories of our natural transience in the world," Vizenor creates an expression of presence commonly denied Native Americans. Blue Ravens is a story of courage in poverty and war, a human story of art and literature from a recognized master of the postwar American novel and one of the most original and outspoken Native voices writing today. Check for the online reader's companion at blueravens. site. wesleyan. edu.

Date Added: 10/12/2018


Braiding Sweetgrass

by Robin Wall Kimmerer

As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert).

Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings―asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass―offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.

A New York Times Bestseller

Date Added: 10/22/2021


Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

by Dee Brown

Dee Brown's powerful and unforgettable classic that awakened the world to the nineteenth-century decimation of American Indian tribes

First published in 1970, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee generated shockwaves with its frank and heartbreaking depiction of the systematic annihilation of American Indian tribes across the western frontier.

In this nonfiction account, Dee Brown focuses on the betrayals, battles, and massacres suffered by American Indians between 1860 and 1890. He tells of the many tribes and their renowned chiefs--from Geronimo to Red Cloud, Sitting Bull to Crazy Horse--who struggled to combat the destruction of their people and culture.

Forcefully written and meticulously researched, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee inspired a generation to take a second look at how the West was won. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dee Brown including rare photos from the author's personal collection.

Date Added: 10/22/2021


Ceremony

by Larry Mcmurtry and Leslie Marmon Silko

The great Native American Novel of a battered veteran returning home to heal his mind and spirit

More than thirty-five years since its original publication, Ceremony remains one of the most profound and moving works of Native American literature, a novel that is itself a ceremony of healing. Tayo, a World War II veteran of mixed ancestry, returns to the Laguna Pueblo Reservation. He is deeply scarred by his experience as a prisoner of the Japanese and further wounded by the rejection he encounters from his people. Only by immersing himself in the Indian past can he begin to regain the peace that was taken from him. Masterfully written, filled with the somber majesty of Pueblo myth, Ceremony is a work of enduring power. The Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition contains a new preface by the author and an introduction by Larry McMurtry.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Date Added: 10/22/2021


Cherokee America

by Margaret Verble

From the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Maud’s Line, an epic novel that follows a web of complex family alliances and culture clashes in the Cherokee Nation during the aftermath of the Civil War, and the unforgettable woman at its center.It’s the early spring of 1875 in the Cherokee Nation West. A baby, a black hired hand, a bay horse, a gun, a gold stash, and a preacher have all gone missing. Cherokee America Singer, known as “Check,” a wealthy farmer, mother of five boys, and soon-to-be widow, is not amused. In this epic of the American frontier, several plots intertwine around the heroic and resolute Check: her son is caught in a compromising position that results in murder; a neighbor disappears; another man is killed. The tension mounts and the violence escalates as Check’s mixed race family, friends, and neighbors come together to protect their community—and painfully expel one of their own.Cherokee America vividly, and often with humor, explores the bonds—of blood and place, of buried histories and half-told tales, of past grief and present injury—that connect a colorful, eclectic cast of characters, anchored by the clever, determined, and unforgettable Check.

Date Added: 01/28/2020


Cheyenne Madonna

by Eddie Chuculate

One stormy night in 1826, just north of Galveston Bay, Old Bull, a Cheyenne Indian who had just seen the ocean for the first time, found himself trying to outrace a hurricane. Lifted from his horse, spun around, and thrown down in the bayou, Old Bull rode the current into a small canyon, and survived. He was the only one of his party to return from the expedition, arriving home nearly naked, nearly hallucinating, riding a horse.

Such is the auspicious beginning to the life of Jordan Coolwater, a distant relation to Old Bull, whom we meet as a boy in the 1970s, shooting turtles on a summer day, and being raised by his grandparents on Creek Indian land in the house of his great-great-grandfather, a survivor of the "Trail of Tears." Bearing the burden of his ancestry, Jordan Coolwater--from bored young boy, to thoughtful teenager, struggling artist, escaped convict, and finally, father--is the subject of Eddie Chuculate's prize-winning collection of linked short stories. The first story in the collection, "Galveston Bay, 1826," won an O'Henry Prize in 2007, and the second, "Yo Yo," received a Pushcart Prize Special Mention.

Reminiscent of Denis Johnson's Jesus's Son, Chuculate's gritty, deceptively simple stories also recall Junot Dias and Sherman Alexie. This is not only a portrait of a young Native American artist struggling with the two constants in his life, alcohol and art, but also a portrait of America, of its dispossessed, its outlaws, and its visionaries.

Date Added: 01/28/2020


Custer Died For Your Sins

by Vine Deloria Jr.

Standing Rock Sioux activist, professor, and attorney Vine Deloria, Jr., shares his thoughts about US race relations, federal bureaucracies, Christian churches, and social scientists in a collection of eleven eye-opening essays infused with humor. This “manifesto” provides valuable insights on American Indian history, Native American culture, and context for minority protest movements mobilizing across the country throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. Originally published in 1969, this book remains a timeless classic and is one of the most significant nonfiction works written by a Native American.

Date Added: 10/12/2018


Dark. Sweet.

by Linda Hogan

Dark. Sweet. offers readers the sweep of Linda Hogan's work--environmental and spiritual concerns, her Chickasaw heritage--in spare, elemental, visionary language.From "Those Who Thunder":Those who thunderhave dark hairand red throw rugs.They burn paper in bathroom sinks.Their voices refuse to sufferand their silences know the waystraight to the heart;it's bus route number eight.Linda Hogan is the recipient of the 2007 Mountains and Plains Booksellers Spirit of the West Literary Achievement Award. Her poetry has received an American Book Award, Colorado Book Award, and a National Book Critics Circle nomination.

Date Added: 10/26/2021


The Deaths of Sybil Bolton

by Dennis Mcauliffe Jr.

Dennis McAuliffe Jr., a journalist, grew up believing that his Osage Indian grandmother, Sybil Bolton, had died an early death in 1925 from kidney disease. But sixty-six years later, he learns by chance that the cause was a gunshot wound. Investigating the circumstances, he soon finds himself peeling away the layers of a suppressed nightmare chapter of American history: the unspeakable brutality of the "Osage Reign of Terror." He learns that Sybil was the victim not of random violence but of a systematic killing spree in the 1920s, carried out by white residents of Oklahoma against the oil-rich Osage Nation. White men descended upon the reservation, courting, marrying—and murdering—Osage women to gain control over their money. McAuliffe is forced to suspect that his own grandfather engineered Sybil's murder.

The book uncovers the full extent of the crimes committed against the Osages: how white lawyers appointed by Congress to protect the Osages systematically swindled the tribe; how a ring of prominent and envious whites poisoned or shot possibly hundreds of Osages to seize their oil wealth—and then papered over the Reign of Terror with doctored death certificates; and how solving the mystery of his grandmother's death led McAuliffe to confront the mysteries of his own life. Part murder mystery, part family memoir, part spiritual journey, The Deaths of Sybil Bolton reintroduces us to a people whose story has been literally torn from the volumes of our nation's history.

Date Added: 10/22/2021


From The Hilltop

by Toni Jensen

For the characters we meet in Toni Jensen's stories, the past is very much the present. Theirs are American Indian lives off the reservation, lives lived beyond the usual boundaries set for American Indian characters: migratory, often overlooked, yet carrying tradition with them into a future of difference and possibility.

Drawing on American Indian oral traditions and her own Mätis upbringing, Jensen tells stories that mix many lives and voices to offer fleeting perspectives on a world that reconfigures the tragedy and disconnection often found in narratives of American Indian life. A brother falls off the roof of an abandoned hotel, a young bride tries to connect with a family she's never met, and an adopted teenage girl seeks acceptance where she is viewed as an outsider. The reader also encounters a kidnapped nephew, strangers in a hotel, and even a stray dog: these are the souls that populate Jensen's stories, finding tentative connections with the past, the future, one another, and finally us.

Date Added: 04/08/2020


The Man to Send Rain Clouds

by Kenneth Rosen

The stories in this collection--now updated with a new introduction--reflect the modern experience of white-educated Indians, bitterly aware that their culture is threatened with destruction, trying to bear witness through a non-Indian genre: the short story.

Date Added: 10/30/2018


Mean Spirit

by Linda Hogan

This is a complex novel, based on a little-known historical episode, with hints of magic realism. Set in the town of Watona, Oklahoma (known as Talbert to its white residents) the story is set during the oil boom of the early 1920s. Oil has been discovered on the land owned by a number of the community's Indian residents, and they have grown rich overnight. But whites hunger for the oil wealth, and one by one the rich Indians and their Indian heirs are being murdered. As fear mounts, the Indians draw upon their spiritual values and their sense of community for survival. This novel presents a rich medley of characters, major and minor. At the center stands the Graycloud family, fighting to protect one another and the natural world they cherish.

Date Added: 10/26/2021


My Heart Is a Chainsaw

by Stephen Graham Jones

In her quickly gentrifying rural lake town Jade sees recent events only her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films could have prepared her for in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones.

“Some girls just don&’t know how to die…” Shirley Jackson meets Friday the 13th in My Heart Is a Chainsaw, written by the author of The Only Good Indians Stephen Graham Jones, called “a literary master” by National Book Award winner Tananarive Due and “one of our most talented living writers” by Tommy Orange.

On the surface is a story of murder in small-town America. But beneath is its beating heart: a biting critique of American colonialism, Indigenous displacement, and gentrification, and a heartbreaking portrait of a broken young girl who uses horror movies to cope with the horror of her own life. Jade Daniels is an angry, half-Indian outcast with an abusive father, an absent mother, and an entire town that wants nothing to do with her. She lives in her own world, a world in which protection comes from an unusual source: horror movies…especially the ones where a masked killer seeks revenge on a world that wronged them. And Jade narrates the quirky history of Proofrock as if it is one of those movies.

But when blood actually starts to spill into the waters of Indian Lake, she pulls us into her dizzying, encyclopedic mind of blood and masked murderers, and predicts exactly how the plot will unfold. Yet, even as Jade drags us into her dark fever dream, a surprising and intimate portrait emerges…a portrait of the scared and traumatized little girl beneath the Jason Voorhees mask: angry, yes, but also a girl who easily cries, fiercely loves, and desperately wants a home. A girl whose feelings are too big for her body. My Heart Is a Chainsaw is her story, her homage to horror and revenge and triumph.

Date Added: 11/10/2021


The Night Watchman

by Louise Erdrich

Based on the extraordinary life of National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich’s grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C., this powerful novel explores themes of love and death with lightness and gravity and unfolds with the elegant prose, sly humor, and depth of feeling of a master craftsman.

Thomas Wazhashk is the night watchman at the jewel bearing plant, the first factory located near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a Chippewa Council member who is trying to understand the consequences of a new “emancipation” bill on its way to the floor of the United States Congress. It is 1953 and he and the other council members know the bill isn’t about freedom; Congress is fed up with Indians. The bill is a “termination” that threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land and their very identity. How can the government abandon treaties made in good faith with Native Americans “for as long as the grasses shall grow, and the rivers run”?

Since graduating high school, Pixie Paranteau has insisted that everyone call her Patrice. Unlike most of the girls on the reservation, Patrice, the class valedictorian, has no desire to wear herself down with a husband and kids. She makes jewel bearings at the plant, a job that barely pays her enough to support her mother and brother. Patrice’s shameful alcoholic father returns home sporadically to terrorize his wife and children and bully her for money. But Patrice needs every penny to follow her beloved older sister, Vera, who moved to the big city of Minneapolis. Vera may have disappeared; she hasn’t been in touch in months, and is rumored to have had a baby.

Determined to find Vera and her child, Patrice makes a fateful trip to Minnesota that introduces her to unexpected forms of exploitation and violence, and endangers her life.Thomas and Patrice live in this impoverished reservation community along with young Chippewa boxer Wood Mountain and his mother Juggie Blue, her niece and Patrice’s best friend Valentine, and Stack Barnes, the white high school math teacher and boxing coach who is hopelessly in love with Patrice.

In the Night Watchman, Louise Erdrich creates a fictional world populated with memorable characters who are forced to grapple with the worst and best impulses of human nature. Illuminating the loves and lives, the desires and ambitions of these characters with compassion, wit, and intelligence, The Night Watchman is a majestic work of fiction from this revered cultural treasure.

A New York Times Bestseller

Date Added: 10/22/2021


The Plague of Doves

by Louise Erdrich

The unsolved murder of a farm family still haunts the white small town of Pluto, North Dakota, generations after the vengeance exacted and the distortions of fact transformed the lives of Ojibwe living on the nearby reservation. Part Ojibwe, part white, Evelina Harp is an ambitious young girl prone to falling hopelessly in love. Mooshum, Evelina's grandfather, is a repository of family and tribal history with an all-too-intimate knowledge of the violent past. And Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, who bears witness, understands the weight of historical injustice better than anyone. Through the distinct and winning voices of three unforgettable narrators, the collective stories of two interwoven communities ultimately come together to reveal a final wrenching truth.

Date Added: 10/22/2021


Prudence

by David Treuer

A haunting and unforgettable novel about love, loss, race, and desire in World War II-era America. On a sweltering day in August 1942, Frankie Washburn returns to his family's rustic Minnesota resort for one last visit before he joins the war as a bombardier, headed for the darkened skies over Europe. Awaiting him at the Pines are those he's about to leave behind: his hovering mother; the distant father to whom he's been a disappointment; the Indian caretaker who's been more of a father to him than his own; and Billy, the childhood friend who over the years has become something much more intimate. But before the homecoming can be celebrated, the search for a German soldier, escaped from the POW camp across the river, explodes in a shocking act of violence, with consequences that will reverberate years into the future for all of them and that will shape how each of them makes sense of their lives. With Prudence, Treuer delivers his most ambitious and captivating novel yet. Powerful and wholly original, it's a story of desire and loss and the search for connection in a riven world; of race and class in a supposedly more innocent era. Most profoundly, it's about the secrets we choose to keep, the ones we can't help but tell, and who--and how--we're allowed to love.

Date Added: 10/12/2018


Red Earth, White Lies

by Vine Deloria Jr.

Deloria (history, law, religious studies, political science, U. of Colorado-Boulder), author of the best-selling "Custer Died For Your Sins", examines modern science as it relates to Native American oral history and exposes the myth of scientific fact, defending Indian accounts of natural history and population movement. He demonstrates how scientists manipulate data to fit their theories and documents traditional knowledge of Indian tribes in areas such as evolution, planetary history, the origin of humans, and natural disasters.

Date Added: 10/22/2021


The Road Back to Sweetgrass

by Linda Legarde Grover

Set in northern Minnesota, The Road Back to Sweetgrass follows Dale Ann, Theresa, and Margie, a trio of American Indian women, from the 1970s to the present, observing their coming of age and the intersection of their lives as they navigate love, economic hardship, loss, and changing family dynamics on the fictional Mozhay Point reservation. As young women, all three leave their homes. Margie and Theresa go to Duluth for college and work; there Theresa gets to know a handsome Indian boy, Michael Washington, who invites her home to the Sweetgrass land allotment to meet his father, Zho Wash, who lives in the original allotment cabin. When Margie accompanies her, complicated relationships are set into motion, and tensions over "real Indian-ness" emerge.

Dale Ann, Margie, and Theresa find themselves pulled back again and again to the Sweetgrass allotment, a silent but ever-present entity in the book; sweetgrass itself is a plant used in the Ojibwe ceremonial odissimaa bag, containing a newborn baby's umbilical cord. In a powerful final chapter, Zho Wash tells the story of the first days of the allotment, when the Wazhushkag, or Muskrat, family became transformed into the Washingtons by the pen of a federal Indian agent. This sense of place and home is both tangible and spiritual, and Linda LeGarde Grover skillfully connects it with the experience of Native women who came of age during the days of the federal termination policy and the struggle for tribal self-determination.

The Road Back to Sweetgrass is a novel that that moves between past and present, the Native and the non-Native, history and myth, and tradition and survival, as the people of Mozhay Point navigate traumatic historical events and federal Indian policies while looking ahead to future generations and the continuation of the Anishinaabe people.

Date Added: 01/28/2020


Robopocalypse

by Daniel H. Wilson

In this terrifying tale of humanity’s desperate stand against a robot uprising, Daniel H. Wilson has written the most entertaining sci-fi thriller in years. Not far into our future, the dazzling technology that runs our world turns against us. Controlled by a childlike—yet massively powerful—artificial intelligence known as Archos, the global network of machines on which our world has grown dependent suddenly becomes an implacable, deadly foe. At Zero Hour—the moment the robots attack—the human race is almost annihilated, but as its scattered remnants regroup, humanity for the first time unites in a determined effort to fight back. This is the oral history of that conflict, told by an international cast of survivors who experienced this long and bloody confrontation with the machines. Brilliantly conceived and amazingly detailed, Robopocalypse is an action-packed epic with chilling implications about the real technology that surrounds us.

Date Added: 01/28/2020


The Round House

by Louise Erdrich

One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared. While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning. Written with undeniable urgency, and illuminating the harsh realities of contemporary life in a community where Ojibwe and white live uneasily together, The Round House is a brilliant and entertaining novel, a masterpiece of literary fiction. Louise Erdrich embraces tragedy, the comic, a spirit world very much present in the lives of her all-too-human characters, and a tale of injustice that is, unfortunately, an authentic reflection of what happens in our own world today.

Winner of the National Book Award

Date Added: 10/22/2021



Showing 1 through 25 of 32 results