Native American Literature: A Very Short Introduction [#561]
Native American Literature: A Very Short Introduction [#561]


  • The first narrative on the emergence of North American Indigenous literature
  • A place for discovery of virtually unknown literary achievements by Indigenous people
  • An entry into fascinating Indigenous ways of life and worldviews

In North America, the Indigenous literature we know today reaches back thousands of years to when the continent's original inhabitants first circled fires and shared tales of emergence and creation, journey and quest, heroism and trickery. Sean Teuton tells the story of Indigenous literature, from the time when oral narrative inspired the first Indigenous writers in English, through later writers' appropriation of genres to serve the creative and political needs of the times. In this lucid narrative he leads readers into the Indigenous worlds from which the literatures grows, where views about land and society and the role of humanity in the cosmos continue to enliven western understanding. In setting Indigenous literature in historical moments he elucidates its various purposes, from its ancient role in bringing rain or healing the body, to its later service in resisting European invasion and colonization, into its current place as a world literature that confronts dominance while it celebrates imagination and the resilience of Indigenous lives.

Along the way readers encounter the diversity of Indigenous peoples who, owing to their differing lands, livelihoods, and customs, evolved literatures adapted to a nation's specific needs. While, in the nineteenth century, public lecture and journalism fortified eastern Indigenous writers against removal west, nearly a century later autobiography enabled western Indigenous authors to tell their side of the winning of the west. Throughout he treats Indigenous literature with such complexity. He describes the single-handed invention of a written Indigenous language, the first Indigenous language newspaper, and the literary occupation of Alcatraz Island. Returning to contemporary poetry, drama, and novel by authors such as D'Arcy McNickle, Leslie Silko, Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, Craig Womack, Teuton demonstrates that, like Indigenous people, Indigenous literature survives because it adapts, honoring the past yet reaching for the future.


List of illustrations
1. The man made of words
2. Oral literatures
3. To write in English
4. From artifact to intellectual
5. Indigenous literary studies
6. The indigenous novel
7. Indigenous futurity
Further reading


Sean Teuton is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Arkansas and author of Red Land, Red Power: Grounding Knowledge in the American Indian Novel. He divides his time between Fayetteville, Arkansas and the neighboring Cherokee Nation, where he is a citizen.

"Teuton does a remarkable job of providing critical historical, cultural, and political background on a variety of tribal populations to prepare readers to enter into the study of Native American literatures ... this volume serves as a brief but informative survey that will provide valuable background for readers new to the field." -- J. J. Donahue, CHOICE


ISBN : 9780199944521

Sean Teuton
176 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





Native American Literature: A Very Short Introduction [#561]

Native American Literature: A Very Short Introduction [#561]

Native American Literature: A Very Short Introduction [#561]