This post is in honor of Native American Heritage Month, which runs all the through November. As with Latinx Heritage Month, I want to again stress that months of targeted celebration are important but we should never limit exploration of certain voices and stories to those months.
On my end, I have continued with my pledge to read at least one book a month by an Indigenous author for the next ten months (and beyond). I did not necessarily stick to the books I listed in the original post, but I’m progressing with my goal, so that is all that counts! Do check out my post if you want to read more Indigenous authors and need suggestions.
If you’re interested in blog events honoring Native American Heritage Month, I recommend you check out Reading and Gaming For Justice for guest posts, lists, and reviews that celebrate Native Hawaiian stories and authors.
2016 has been a great year for book releases. In the year that I joined the blogging community, I have witnessed the debuts of talented writers of color and the successes of marginalized voices in the publishing industry, both commercially and critically. Today, I want to highlight some of the more notable releases by Native American authors, who are writing excellent work and still need more recognition. The 11 books below are a mix of high profile releases and books published by smaller presses. This is not an extensive and complete list, by any means, but it may be a good starting point for readers who want to read the most contemporary Native American literature.
2016 Releases by Native American Authors
- Love Beyond, Space, And Time: An Indigenous LGBT Sci-Fi Anthology – Edited by Hope Nicholson
- A stunning and visionary collection of stories penned by several Indigenous authors. Read this one as soon as possible!
- Burning In This Midnight Dream – by Louirse Bernice Halfe
- In this book of poems, the author recounts the damage residential schools have done to herself, her family, and her community.
- Take Us To Your Chief – by Drew Hayden Taylor
- A short story collection that covers traditional topics of science fiction – from time travel, space travel, hostile alien invasions and government conspiracies – all while exploring First Nations discourse.
- Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Issues in Canada – by Chelsea Vowel
- An essential book on Indigenous history, issues, and terminology. Read this book if you want to be better educated on Native American culture and identity, state violence against Indigenous peoples and other important matters relevant to Native Americans.
- Sounding Thunder: The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabow – by Brian D. McInnes
- “Francis Pegahmagabow’s stories describe many parts of his life and are characterized by classic Ojibwe narrative. They reveal aspects of Francis’s Anishinaabe life and worldview. Presented in their original Ojibwe as well as in English translation, the stories also reveal a rich and evocative relationship to the lands and waters of Georgian Bay.” – from Goodreads blurb
- LaRose – by Louise Erdrich
- The latest release by acclaimed author, Louise Erdrich. From the Goodreads blurb: “emotionally haunting contemporary tale of a tragic accident, a demand for justice, and a profound act of atonement with ancient roots in Native American culture.”
- Mongrels – by Stephen Graham Jones
- A coming-of-age story about a boy who discovers all his living relatives are werewolves. He must learn to accept this reality while struggling to survive in a society that shuns him and his kind.
- The Shoe Boy, by Duncan McCue
- McCue is a member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation in southern Ontario. The Shoe Boy, his first book, is a memoir that covers with humor a season he spent hunting in Northern Quebec trapline.
- The Right To Be Cold: One Woman’s Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet – by Sheila Watt-Cloutier
- Watt-Cloutier is an Inuk environmental and human rights activist who devotes herself to defending what is threatened and fighting the global threat of climate change. This is her memoir.
- Thunder Boy Jr. – by Sherman Alexie
- A picture book by the award-winning Sherman Alexie that celebrates the special relationship of a father and son.
- Forever Loved: Exposing the Hidden Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada – Memee Lavell-Harvard , Jennifer Brant
- Another essential read. The cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada is a human rights crisis that needs to be brought to national attention. This book is meant to honor those missing women and expose the shockingly high rates of violence against Indigenous women.
Please support Native American authors and buy these books for yourself or friends and family this holiday season!
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