Native American Fiction
National Native American Heritage Month, observed in November, honors the histories, cultures, and contributions – historical and ongoing – of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Here are a few suggestions of novels published in the last five years to read. (Updated May 2020)
Poet, dreamer and wisecracking Penacook private eye Jacob ‘Podjo’ Neptune investigates the mysterious (and possibly supernatural) death of a pair of native activists involved in the takeover of Abenaki Island.
Format: BookView Chenoo
Future Home of the Living God
Born on an Ojibwe reservation and adopted by a couple who prioritized a connection to her tribal roots, Cedar is 26, single, pregnant—and living in a dystopian near-future in which evolution appears to be reversing. On the run from oppressive authorities who want her unborn child, Cedar must decide who to trust: the father of her child, her missing adoptive parents, or her tribal family.
Format: BookView Future Home of the Living God
In the Night of Memory
Grover returns to the fictional Mozhay Point Reservation of her previous award-winning books in this story of Azure and Rain, two young girls who have been given up for adoption by their mother. The girls experience love and loss on their years-long journey home to their Mozhay family and possible reconciliation.
Format: BookView In the Night of Memory
Where the Dead Sit Talking
Newly adopted 15-year-old Cherokee Sequoyah finds an uncanny bond with his fellow native foster sibling Rosemary, even as their largely unsupervised lives gradually spiral toward a very dark place.
Format: BookView Where the Dead Sit Talking
Betrayal at the Buffalo Ranch
Sadie Walela is outraged when she learns that her new neighbors at Buffalo Ranch are offering rich tourists the chance to kill buffalo for fun. When a murder occurs at the ranch, Sadie and her love interest, a deputy sheriff, team up to expose a violent criminal underworld.
Format: BookView Betrayal at the Buffalo Ranch
Howe exposes the connection between the 1875 institutionalization of Mary Todd Lincoln and the 1862 hanging of 38 Dakotas—the largest mass execution in United States history—in a novel that challenges conventional historical narratives.
Format: BookView Savage Conversations
The Only Good Indians
This American Indian horror story of revenge begins when four men from the Blackfeet Nation kill a mysterious pregnant elk on forbidden hunting ground. Years later, they are still haunted by the elk’s death and end up in a desperate struggle for their lives.
Format: BookView The Only Good Indians
1967: Anishinaabe soldier Luke Warmwater returns to the Reservation after serving in Vietnam only to encounter racist coworkers in his new job as a county police officer. Luke must navigate enforcing the law while dealing with prejudice and personal demons.
Format: BookView Dirty Copper
Tommy Orange's debut novel brings together twelve characters on their way to the Big Oakland Powwow.
Format: BookView There There
Nez Perce author Piatote’s collection of short stories experiments with poetry and prose while exploring themes of kinship and return.
Format: BookView The Beadworkers