This Companion provides an informative and wide-ranging overview of a relatively new field of literary-cultural studies: literature of many genres in English by American Indians from the 1770s to the present day. In addition to the seventeen chapters written by respected experts--Native and non-Native; American, British and European scholars--it includes bio-bibliographies of forty authors, maps, suggestions for further reading, and a timeline which details major works of Native American and mainstream American literature, as well as significant social, cultural and historical events.
Introduction Kenneth M. Roemer; Time line: literary, historical and cultural conjunctions Kenneth M. Roemer; Part I. Historical and Cultural Contexts: 1. Historical and cultural contexts to Native American literature Joy Porter; 2. Translation and mediation David Murray; 3. Women writers and gender issues Annette Van Dyke; Part II. Genre Contexts: 4. Non-fiction prose Bernd Peyer; 5. Native American life writing Hertha D. Sweet Wong; 6. America's indigenous poetry Norma C. Wilson; 7. Pre-1968 fiction A. Lavonne Brown Ruoff; 8. Fiction: 1968 to the present James Ruppert; 9. American Indian theatre Ann Haugo; Part III. Individual Authors: 10. N. Scott Momaday: becoming the bear Chadwick Allen; 11. Simon Ortiz: writing home Patricia Clark Smith; 12. James Welch: identity, circumstance and chance Kathryn W. Shanley; 13. Leslie Marmon Silko: storyteller Robert M. Nelson; 14. Gerald Vizenor: postindian liberation Kimberly M. Blaeser; 15. Louise Erdrich's storied universe Catherine Rainwater; 16. Joy Harjo's poetry Laura Coltelli; 17. Sherman Alexie: irony, intimacy, and agency David L. Moore; Bio-bibliographies; Further reading; Index.
Wordcraft Award for Best Reference Work, 2005-06
"The Cambridge Companion to Native American Literature is comprehensive and extensive. It is a serious, insightful, and in-depth resource guide that's actually more than an overview. Without a doubt, it is purposeful in providing scholars and lay readers a direction toward a full appreciation, understanding, and comprehension of the range and depth of powerful literature by Native Americans." Simon J. Ortiz
"An impressive collection of essays! Porter and Roemer have nicely framed a conversation by scholars on what Native literature was, is, and will become in the 21st century. Readers will find diversity in this volume--and by that I mean essays on poetry, fiction, history, and theater, and culture. The survey by these authors will no doubt evoke new inquiries into this thing we Indians call Story." LeAnne Howe, author of Shell Shaker
"I have read The Cambridge Companion to Native American Literature manuscript with interest and care. It is a distinguished work, clear in its writing, fortunate in its selections, thoroughly available to a wide audience, and expertly researched. Here is an invaluable resource, not only for students and teachers of Native American literature, but for anyone who has an interest in the subject. It is at once an excellent guide and the best of companions." N. Scott Momaday
"A part of the highly esteemed Cambridge "Companion" series, this immensely rewarding volume is geared toward the serious student of Native American literature and explores genres written since the 1770s." --Library Journal