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–from the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

Ours has been called “the age of memoir,” and particularly in America, the genre has been labeled “the central (literary) form of our time.” But at the same time that the publication of personal narratives has soared, critics and some readers have chastised its writers for being voyeuristic, self-indulgent or worse. Then there is the dreaded ‘nostalgic’ label, which still has at center stage, the author’s bright and shining face.

Native American or American Indian (NDN) cultures, on the other hand, value community over the individual and are deeply rooted in both the land and in a contiguous past and present. Readers who have soured on “standard” American memoir, might find storytellers from Indian Country’s broader landscapes a refreshing change.

If you want to dive into the sub-genre, I suggest that you start with N. Scott Momaday‘s The Names and then work your way through the following list according to interest:4186SXQ737L._SL110_

 

~RECOMMENDED READING LIST~

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1.  The Turquoise Ledge: A Memoir by Leslie Marmon Silko

 

 

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2.  Crazy Brave: A Memoir by Joy Harjo

 

 

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3.  Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir by Deborah A. Miranda

 

 

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4.  Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country: Traveling Through the Land of My Ancestors by Louise Erdrich

 

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5.  The Blue Jay’s Dance by Louise Erdrich

 

 

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6.  The Woman Who Watches Over the World: A Native Memoir by Linda Hogan

 

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7.  Bloodlines: Odyssey of a Native Daughter by Janet Campbell Hale

 

 

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8.  Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer: A Story of Survival (American Indian Lives) by Allison Hedge Coke

 

 

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9.  Muscogee Daughter: My Sojourn to the Miss America Pageant (American Indian Lives) by Susan Supernaw

 

 

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10.  Take This Man: A Memoir by Brando Skyhorse*

 

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11.  Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir (Sun Tracks) by Ernestine Hayes

 

 

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12.  Maria Tallchief: America’s Prima Ballerina by Maria Tallchief

 

 

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13.  Choctalking on Other Realities by LeAnne Howe

 

 

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14.  Talking Indian: Reflections on Survival and Writing by Anna Lee Walters

 

 

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15.  Skeleton of a Bridge by Robert Mirabal

 

 

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16.  FALLING INTO PLACE: A MEMOIR OF OVERCOMING by Hattie Kauffman

 

 

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17.  Rez Life by David Treuer

 

 

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18.  Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog

 

 

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19.  Spirit Car: A Journey to a Dakota Past by Diane Wilson

 

 

To purchase all titles together or to view updates to the list CLICK through to LISTMANIA!

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