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What to Read After Sherman Alexie's #MeToo Revelations?


 Author Sherman Alexie. Photo: Tulane Public Relations, Creative Commons Attribution
A lot of folks have been asking me what Native American authors they should read or even what books to teach since #MeToo accusations of sexual harassment against Sherman Alexie came to light this past March. I wrote about it at Yes! Magazine here: Why Reading Sherman Alexie Was Never EnoughAs the #MeToo spotlight moves to Indian Country, epidemic violence against Native women meets tokenism in publishing. I will also be interviewed today on Oregon Public Radio's Think Out Loud show today about my article.

My daughter also asked me to prepare a list for her English teacher and I thought I'd share the initial, sometimes personal list, I put together for her. I don't teach Native American literature so this list simply represents books that I have enjoyed over the years with a few that I understand to be standards. It is by no means comprehensive and I will continue to develop it. Especially, since Multnomah County Libraries has asked me to put together a list for them to share on their blog. That list will be more comprehensive than this one for American Indians in Children's Literature's Best Books page for recommendations on YA and Children's literature. But for an initial stab, written for my daughter, here is a list ... well, my list, anyway:
sure. I'd also recommend checking out

Native American Recommended Books

   by Jacqueline Keeler (Diné-Dakota)

Personal Favorites

Classics & Must-Reads of Native American Literature

  • The Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday, Kiowa ancestors. Also, shouldn’t miss House Made of Dawn his novel which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969.
  • Winter in the Blood by James Welch, Blackfeet, published in 1978. It was made into a film of the same name in 2012. Also, recommended are his historical novel, Fools Crow which received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the American Book Award. I also recommend Indian Lawyer to show the challenges contemporary professional Native Americans have working in the white world. Welch’s work has large following overseas and is the only Native writer to be awarded the Chevalier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of the Arts and Letters) by the French Cultural Ministry.
  • The Jailing of Cecelia Capture by Janet Campbell Hale, Couer d’Alene, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1985.
  • Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto by Vine Deloria, Jr, Dakota. Another relative (my grandmother’s cousin). This book is a classic that emerged at the same time the Red Power movement was bringing Native issues into the news again. Also recommend God Is Red: A Native View of Religion and Red Earth, White Lies.

This is a very preliminary list. So much more add!






Jacqueline Keeler
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