Writing Raven

Writing Raven
Anchorage, Alaska, USA
March 15
I am a twenty-something Tlingit/Athabascan woman. I never plan on leaving Alaska. And - though I wouldn't have thought this was any kind of issue until recent inquiries - am straight, and always plan on being straight, as well. :) I am not married and have no children, so I frequently take children from my friends, spoil them ridiculously, and send them back. I've also begun to write my first book.

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JUNE 13, 2009 6:48AM

Native author summer reading list

Rate: 7 Flag

Was out of town for much of this week, and got a little bit hooked on a much nicer, slower frame of mind. Having a little bit of trouble getting back into life.

Oprah released her summer reading list, so I figured, hey, why not me? Sure, the authors will probably be a tad less excited that they are on MY reading list, versus the big O, but I'm sure they're okay with it.

I generally read... a lot... but after the month of Native poetry, I noticed how litte I intentionally read much Native fiction. Despite enjoying the nonfiction Native books, and loving literature in general, I don't intentionally go out to find many Native fiction books. So, this summer, I'm making sure I read at least six different Native authors (two/month.)

By the way, if you have suggestons, PLEASE let me know. I put much more stock in suggestions than in reviews and such, and would love to know what Native author books you like!

The List:

Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie
I've only ever read short stories and poems by Alexie, and always "meant" to read the novels. I actually already started on the first chapter of this, and am hooked!

The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich

Ravensong by Lee Maracle
"From the depths of the sound Raven sang a deep wind song, melancholy green... Cloud crashed on the hillside while Raven began to weep."
I've never head of this novel, or author, before, but I'm a sucker for imagery.

Black Eagle Child: The Facepaint Narratives by Ray A. Young Bear

Bird Girl and the Man Who Followed the Sun by Velma Wallis
I read Two Old Women years ago, and loved it, but never got around to this one.

Dawn Land by Joseph Bruchac

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The Painted Drum is wonderful! The Grass Dancer by Susan Power is another good book.
Oh I just realized the title was Native American AUTHOR. OOps. The others are still good books though.
Reservation Blues is my favorite Alexie book! I'm so glad you're enjoying it.

I read more non-fiction by Native authors, too. I may have to borrow your reading list.
Nice list! Great books. I love M. Scott Momaday, too!
merde, sorry for the html screwup...oh for editing in comments!
Thanks for the suggestions! I'm definitely going to check these out!
I had my fall semester class read Alexie's young adult novel: THE ALL TRUE STORY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN. They loved it. It's about Arnold Spirit, who wants to play basketball, and who chooses to go to the local "white" high school to get a better shot at playing.
Thank you! I'm gonna see if my library has these!
I know this post is old in terms of OS time (which still has me spinning trying to keep up with it), but I can’t resist a reading list, even though the only books I can find time to read anymore are on audiobook. I hope your recs are, too, as they’re all so tempting.

Here are a few more for the list:

Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Dreams. I read this years ago and it’s still in my top 10. Can’t wait till I have time go back and read it again.

Joy Harjo’s How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems. I haven’t read this latest collection but she has been a longtime favorite of mine ever since I had the honor of meeting her a dozen or so years ago.

Carol Schaefer’s Grandmothers Counsel the World: Women Elders Offer Their Vision for Our Planet. Takelma-Siletz Elder Agnes Baker Pilgrim is one of the contributors to this collection, as well as an amazing international activist on behalf of peace. Granny Aggie signed this book for my grandmother’s 82nd birthday almost exactly two years ago. It was the last gift I ever had an opportunity to give her.