Friday, November 13, 2009

Indian Summer

With it being a beautiful Indian summer day, I found myself thinking about Native Americans. I noticed we've scheduled two book discussions that feature Native American interests. On December 1st we are discussing Louise Erdrich's The Plague of Doves. And on January 14th we are discussing the Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. If you'd like to attend a discussion sign up here.

I loved the book Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie. It was made into the move Smoke Signals. It is a well-written short story collection that centers around life on the Spokane Indian Reservation.

Another book that deals with attitudes towards Native Americans was Montana, 1948 by Larry Watson. It made a great discussion book. Here a Montana sheriff discovers that his war-hero brother has molested several Native American women, and the values of justice and family loyalty battle.

In the Shadow Catcher, Marianne Wiggins creates a fictional account of the life of photographer Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952). He famously photographed many Native Americans (you've probably seen a number of his photos without knowing it, like the one above) in their natural element portraying them as a proud and brave. But the photos were mostly staged and edited to create that image.

I have also enjoyed many of Barbara Kingsolver's books. What are some Native American themed books that you have liked?


Lynne said...

I'm looking forward to the book discussions in December and January. There are so many wonderful Native American authors, and the stories they tell transcend time and place to show us a little bit of ourselves. My favorites are James Welch: The Heartsong of Charging Elk, Fools Crow, and The Death of Jim Loney, N. Scott Momaday: A House Made of Dawn, and Leslie Marmon Silko: Gardens in the Dunes, and Ceremony.

Linda K. said...

Both Tony Hillerman and Margaret Coel write some wonderful mysteries about Native Americans. The settings and customs are described so well that I can picture the landscape as I read.

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