Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Mc-Pa)

Momaday, N. Scott

novel myth father self

(US 1934– )

The son of a Kiowa father and a part-Cherokee mother, Momaday grew up among his father's people in Oklahoma and among pueblo Indians in New Mexico, where his parents worked as teachers. He is an accomplished poet, essayist, autobiographer, and painter as well as a renowned novelist. In his Pulitzer Prize-winning first novel House Made of Dawn (1968), a shattered Second World War veteran attempts to re-integrate into the tribal life of his pueblo. The novel is beautifully written and structurally complex, and it draws on several American-Indian oral and myth traditions. Its title is taken from the Navajo Night Chant healing ceremonial. Momaday's second novel The Ancient Child (1989) is more explicit in its use of the Kiowa myth of the boy who was transformed into a bear, as an artist alienated from his culture journeys towards self-discovery and self-transformation with the assistance of a young medicine woman.

Leslie Marmon Silko, Louise Erdrich  CA

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