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American Indian Authors

Readers' Cafe

Black Elk Speaks
Blasphemy New and Selected Stories
Ceremony
Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings
Crazy Brave A Memoir
The Death of Jim Loney
Extra Indians
Fools Crow
House Made of Dawn
Hundred in the Hand
Indian Killer
Killer of Enemies
The Lakota Way of Strength and Courage
LaRose
Lewis and Clark Through Indian Eyes
Reinventing the Enemy's Language
The Red Bird All-Indian Traveling Band
The Round House
Sovereign Bones
Storyteller
Through Black Spruce
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me A Memoir
Black Elk Speaks / John G. Neihardt

Black Elk Speaks, the story of the Oglala Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863-1950) and his people during momentous twilight years of the nineteenth century, offers readers much more than a precious glimpse of a vanished time. Black Elk's searing visions of the unity of humanity and Earth, conveyed by John G. Neihardt, have made this book a classic that crosses multiple genres. Whether appreciated as the poignant tale of a Lakota life, as a history of a Native nation, or as an enduring spiritual testament, Black Elk Speaks is unforgettable. Black Elk met the distinguished poet, writer, and critic John G. Neihardt in 1930 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and asked Neihardt to share his story with the world. Neihardt understood and conveyed Black Elk's experiences in this powerful and inspirational message for all humankind.

Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories / Sherman Alexie

A bold and irreverent observer of life among Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest, the daring, versatile, funny, and outrageous Alexie showcases all his talents in his newest collection, Blasphemy, where he unites fifteen beloved classics with fifteen new stories in one sweeping anthology for devoted fans and first-time readers. Included here are some of his most esteemed tales, including ?What You Pawn I Will Redeem," ?This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,? ?The Toughest Indian in the World,? and ?War Dances.

Ceremony: / Leslie Marmon Silko

Almost forty years since its original publication, Ceremony remains one of the most profound and moving works of Native American literature - a novel that is itself a ceremony of healing. Masterfully written, filled with the somber majesty of Pueblo myth, Ceremony is a work of enduring power.

Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings / Joy Harjo

A long-awaited poetry collection by one of our most essential Native American voices.In these poems, the joys and struggles of the everyday are played against the grinding politics of being human. Beginning in a hotel room in the dark of a distant city, we travel through history and follow the memory of the Trail of Tears from the bend in the Tallapoosa River to a place near the Arkansas River. Stomp dance songs, blues, and jazz ballads echo throughout. Lost ancestors are recalled. Resilient songs are born, even as they grieve the loss of their country. Called a "magician and a master" (San Francisco Chronicle), Joy Harjo is at the top of her form in Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings. ---

Crazy Brave: A Memoir / Joy Harjo

A spiritual coming-of-age memoir from a poet praised for her breathtaking complex witness and world-remaking language Adrienne Rich. In this transcendent memoir, grounded in tribal myth and ancestry, music and poetry, Joy Harjo, one of our leading Native American voices, details her journey to becoming a poet. Born in Oklahoma, the end place of the Trail of Tears, Harjo grew up learning to dodge an abusive stepfather by finding shelter in her imagination, a deep spiritual life, and connection with the natural world. She attended an Indian arts boarding school, where she nourished an appreciation for painting, music, and poetry gave birth while still a teenager and struggled on her own as a single mother, eventually finding her poetic voice. Narrating the complexities of betrayal and love, Crazy Brave is a memoir about family and the breaking apart necessary in finding a voice.

The Death of Jim Loney / James Welch

James Welch never shied away from depicting the lives of Native Americans damned by destiny and temperament to the margins of society. The Death of Jim Loney is no exception. Jim?Loney is a mixed-blood, of white and Indian parentage. Estranged from both communities, he lives a solitary, brooding existence in a small Montana town. His nights are filled with disturbing dreams that haunt his waking hours. Rhea, his lover, cannot console him; Kate, his sister, cannot penetrate his world. In sparse, moving prose, Welch has crafted a riveting tale of disenfranchisement and self-destruction.

Extra Indians / Eric Gansworth

Every winter, Tommy Jack McMorsey watches the meteor showers in northern Minnesota. On the long haul from Texas to Minnesota, Tommy encounters a deluded Japanese tourist determined to find the buried ransom money from the movie Fargo. When the Japanese tourist dies of exposure in Tommy Jack's care, a media storm erupts and sets off a series of journeys into Tommy Jack's past as he remembers the horrors of Vietnam, a love affair, and the suicide of his closest friend, Fred Howkowski. Exploring with great insight and wit the ways images, stereotypes, and depictions intersect with, Extra Indians offers a powerful glimpse into contemporary Native American life.

Fools Crow / James Welch

In the Two Medicine Territory of Montana, the Lone Eaters, a small band of Blackfeet Indians, are living their immemorial life. The men hunt and mount the occasional horse-taking raid or war party against the enemy Crow. The women tan the hides, sew the beadwork, and raise the children. But the year is 1870, and the whites are moving into their land. Fools Crow, a young warrior and medicine man, has seen the future and knows that the newcomers will punish resistance with swift retribution. First published to broad acclaim in 1986, Fools Crow is James Welch's stunningly evocative portrait of his people's bygone way of life.

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House Made of Dawn / N. Scott Momaday

House Made of Dawn was the first novel by a Native American to win the Pulitzer Prize and remains a classic of contemporary literature. It will carry you to the mysterious, magnificent heart of the American Southwest, and to the soul of its ancient native people. Momaday weaves the story of a young mixed-blood who is torn between his tribal heritage and the poisonous enticements of the white world. He traces Abel's difficult emotional journey back to the land and traditions of his ancestors and, finally, and to his own identity.?

Hundred in the Hand: / Joseph M. Marshall III

Seeking to complete the compelling story of the American West, best-selling Lakota author Joseph Marshall brings a new slant to the traditional Western: historical fiction written from the Native American viewpoint. The first novel in this new series, Hundred in the Hand takes place during the battle otherwise known as the Fetterman Massacre of 1866. The story is told through the eyes of Cloud, a dedicated and able warrior who fought alongside a young Crazy Horse, as well as the white soldiers who mistake Cloud's wife for a captive. Beautifully written and reminiscent of the oral tradition, Hundred in the Hand brings a new depth to the story of the battle and the history of the Lakota people.

Indian Killer / Sherman Alexie

A serial murderer called the Indian Killer is terrorizing Seattle, hunting, scalping, and slaughtering white men. Motivated by rage and seeking retribution for his people's violent history, his grizzly MO and skillful elusiveness both paralyze the city with fear and prompt an uprising of racial brutality. Out of the chaos emerges John Smith. Born to Indians but raised by white parents, Smith yearns for his lost heritage.

Killer of Enemies / Joseph Bruchac

Years ago, seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen and her family lived in a world of haves and have-nots. There were the Onespeople so augmented with technology and genetic enhancements that they were barely humanand there was everyone else who served them. Then the Cloud came, and everything changed. Tech stopped working. The world plunged back into a new steam age. The Ones petsgenetically engineered monstersturned on them and are now loose on the world.Lozen was not one of the lucky ones pre-C, but fate has given her a unique set of survival skills and magical abilities. She hunts monsters for the Ones who survived the apocalyptic events of the Cloud, which ensures the safety of her kidnapped family. But with every monster she takes down, Lozens powers grow, and she connects those powers to an ancient legend of her people.

The Lakota Way of Strength and Courage / Joseph Marshall

In Lakota tradition, the bow and arrow were more than tools for hunting or battle. The bow's resilience and flexibility, the arrow's grace and power, the archer's focus and patience-in these, we find the essential qualities for living a life of strength, purpose,and simplicity. In The Lakota Way of Strength and Courage, Joseph M. Marshall builds upon the central metaphor of the bow and arrow to provide a treasury of insights, stories, and irreplaceable wisdom.

LaRose / Louise Erdrich

North Dakota, late summer, 1999. Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence - but when the buck springs away, Landreaux realizes he's hit something else, a blur he saw as he squeezed the trigger. When he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighbor's five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich.

The two families have always been close, sharing food, clothing, and rides into town; their children played together despite going to different schools; and Landreaux's wife, Emmaline, is half sister to Dusty's mother, Nola. Horrified at what he's done, the recovered alcoholic turns to an Ojibwe tribe tradition - the sweat lodge - for guidance, and finds a way forward. Following an ancient means of retribution, he and Emmaline will give LaRose to the grieving Peter and Nola. "Our son will be your son now," they tell them.

LaRose is quickly absorbed into his new family. Plagued by thoughts of suicide, Nola dotes on him, keeping her darkness at bay. His fierce, rebellious new "sister," Maggie, welcomes him as a coconspirator who can ease her volatile mother's terrifying moods. Gradually he's allowed shared visits with his birth family, whose sorrow mirrors the Raviches' own. As the years pass, LaRose becomes the linchpin linking the Irons and the Raviches, and eventually their mutual pain begins to heal.

Inspiring and affecting, LaRose is a powerful exploration of loss, justice, and the reparation of the human heart, and an unforgettable, dazzling tour de force from one of America's most distinguished literary masters.

Lewis and Clark Through Indian Eyes / Alvin M. Josephy Jr.

For the first time in the two hundred years since Lewis and Clark led their expedition from St. Louis to the Pacific, we hear the other side of the story?as we listen to nine descendants of the Indians whose homelands were traversed. Among those who speak: Newspaper editor Mark Trahant writes of his childhood belief that he was descended from Clark and what his own research uncovers. Award-winning essayist and fiction writer Debra Magpie Earling describes the tribal ways that helped her nineteenth-century Salish ancestors survive, and that still work their magic today. Montana political figure Bill Yellowtail tells of the efficiency of Indian trade networks, explaining how axes that the expedition traded for food in the Mandan and Hidatsa villages of Kansas had already arrived in Nez Perce country by the time Lewis and Clark got there a few months and 1,000 miles later.

Reinventing the Enemy's Language / Joy Harjo and Gloria Bird, editors

From people who value stories and songs from literary traditions that are as encompassing and intricate as those of Europe, Reinventing the Enemy's Language is the most comprehensive anthology of its kind to collect the poetry, fiction, prayer and memoir from Native American women.

The Red Bird All-Indian Traveling Band / Frances Washburn

Opening July 4, 1969, on the Pine Ridge Reservation, The Red Bird All-Indian Traveling Band begins with a raucous Fourth of July gig that abruptly ends with the Red Birds ducking out of the performance in a?hail of beer bottles. By the end of the evening, community member Buffalo Ames is dead, presumed to be murdered, just outside the bar. Sissy Roberts, the bands singer and the best female guitar picker on the rez, is reluctantly drawn into the ensuing investigation by an FBI agent who discovers Sissys knack for hearing other peoples secrets. The Red Bird All-Indian Traveling Band is part mystery, part community chronicle. Shaped by a cast of skillfully drawn characters, all of whom at one time or another are potential suspects, at the core of the story is smart and compassionate Sissy.

The Round House / Louise Erdrich

The Round House won the National Book Award for fiction. One of the most revered novelists of our time--a brilliant chronicler of Native-American life--Louise Erdrich returns to the territory of her bestselling, Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves with The Round House, transporting readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family. Riveting and suspenseful, arguably the most accessible novel to date from the creator of Love Medicine, The Beet Queen, and The Bingo Palace, Erdrich's The Round House is a page-turning masterpiece of literary fiction--at once a powerful coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a tender, moving novel of family, history, and culture.

Sovereign Bones / Eric Gansworth

Sovereign Bones is an exploration of indigenous peoples and how they have managed to maintain separate identities, in spite of their assimilation into the broader American culture. Edited by Eric Gansworth, this collection of original writing focuses on the key role that writers and visual artists have played in the struggle of native peoples to retain their individual identities. In personal essays, memoir, and historical reflections, each writer explores the ways in which they arrived at their work and how they have retained a traditional way of life in that work.?Featured authors include: Marijo Moore, Louise Erdrich, Alex Jacobs, Heid Erdrich, Maurice Kenny, Diane Glancy, Jeanette Weaskus, Simon Ortiz.

Storyteller / Leslie Marmon Silko

Silko's groundbreaking book Storyteller, first published in 1981, blends original short stories and poetry influenced by the traditional oral tales that she heard growing up on the Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico with autobiographical passages, folktales, family memories, and photographs. As she mixes traditional and Western literary genres, Silko examines themes of memory, alienation, power, and identity; communicates Native American notions regarding time, nature, and spirituality; and explores how stories and storytelling shape people and communities. Storyteller illustrates how one can frame collective cultural identity in contemporary literary forms, as well as illuminates the importance of myth, oral tradition, and ritual in Silko's own work.

Through Black Spruce / Joseph Boyden

Beautifully written and startlingly original, Through Black Spruce takes the considerable talents of Canadian novelist Joseph Boyden to new and exciting heights. This is the story of two immensely compelling characters: Will Bird, a legendary Cree bush pilot who lies comatose in a remote Ontario hospital; and Annie Bird, Will's niece, a beautiful loner and trapper who has come to sit beside her uncle's bed. Broken in different ways, the two take silent communion in their unspoken kinship, revealing a story rife with heartbreak, fierce love, ancient feuds, mysterious disappearances, murders, and the bonds that hold a family, and a people, together.

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir / Sherman Alexie

A searing, deeply moving memoir about family, love, loss, and forgiveness from the critically acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award-winning author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

Family relationships are never simple. But Sherman Alexie's bond with his mother Lillian was more complex than most. She plunged her family into chaos with a drinking habit, but shed her addiction when it was on the brink of costing her everything. She survived a violent past, but created an elaborate facade to hide the truth. She selflessly cared for strangers, but was often incapable of showering her children with the affection that they so desperately craved. She wanted a better life for her son, but it was only by leaving her behind that he could hope to achieve it. It's these contradictions that made Lillian Alexie a beautiful, mercurial, abusive, intelligent, complicated, and very human woman.

When she passed away, the incongruities that defined his mother shook Sherman and his remembrance of her. Grappling with the haunting ghosts of the past in the wake of loss, he responded the only way he knew how: he wrote. The result is a stunning memoir filled with raw, angry, funny, profane, tender memories of a childhood few can imagine, much less survive. An unflinching and unforgettable remembrance, YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME is a powerful, deeply felt account of a complicated relationship.
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