The Columbia Guide to American Indian Literatures of the United States Since 1945 is the first major volume of its kind to focus on Native literatures in a postcolonial context. Written by a team of noted Native and non-Native scholars, these essays consider the complex social and political influences that have shaped American Indian literatures in the second half of the twentieth century, with particular emphasis on core themes of identity, sovereignty, and land.
In his essay comprising part I of the volume, Eric Cheyfitz argues persuasively for the necessary conjunction of Indian literatures and federal Indian law from Apess to Alexie. Part II is a comprehensive survey of five genres of literature: fiction (Arnold Krupat and Michael Elliott), poetry (Kimberly Blaeser), drama (Shari Huhndorf), nonfiction (David Murray), and autobiography (Kendall Johnson), and discusses the work of Vine Deloria Jr., N. Scott Momaday, Joy Harjo, Simon Ortiz, Louise Erdrich, Leslie Marmon Silko, Gerald Vizenor, Jimmy Santiago Baca, and Sherman Alexie, among many others. Drawing on historical and theoretical frameworks, the contributors examine how American Indian writers and critics have responded to major developments in American Indian life and how recent trends in Native writing build upon and integrate traditional modes of storytelling.
Sure to be considered a groundbreaking contribution to the field, The Columbia Guide to American Indian Literatures of the United States Since 1945 offers both a rich critique of history and a wealth of new information and insight.