Native American voices have won glory for several recent titles covering a variety of topics for every reader. Plus, reading a book by a Native American author is part of the optional mini-challenge for Winter Reading this year! Below are stories pulled from a larger list of Native American authors, featuring modern life in its wit and struggles, historical trauma, the twin pulls of embracing tradition and breaking away, epic fantasy, and more!
Crooked Hallelujah by Kelli Jo Ford
A first collection by an award-winning Cherokee writer traces four generations of Native American women as they navigate cultural dynamics, religious beliefs, the 1980s oil bust, devastating storms and unreliable men to connect with their ideas about home.
Family Saga; Gritty
Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
A vigilante enforcer on South Dakota’s Rosebud Indian Reservation enlists the help of an ex to investigate the activities of an expanding drug cartel, while a new tribal council initiative raises controversial questions.
Crime Fiction; Suspenseful
This Town Sleeps by Dennis E. Staples
Engaging in a secret affair with a closeted white man, an Ojibwe from a northern Minnesota reservation navigates small-town discrimination before a ghost leads him to the grave of a basketball star whose murder becomes linked to a local legend.
Intricately Plotted; Moving
Cherokee America by Margaret Verble
In the Spring of 1875 in the Cherokee Nation, Check, a wealthy farmer and mother of five boys, must protect her mixed-race family and tight-knit community at all costs when violence erupts.
Historical Fiction; Compelling
Savage Conversations by LeAnne Howe
Mary Todd Lincoln is addicted to opiates and tried in a Chicago court on charges of insanity. Entered into evidence is Ms. Lincoln’s claim that every night a Savage Indian enters her bedroom and slashes her face and scalp. She is swiftly committed. Her hauntings may be a reminder that in 1862, President Lincoln ordered the hanging of 38 Dakotas in the largest mass execution in United States history. No one has ever linked the two events–until now.
Novel in Verse; Historical Fiction
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
A trilogy debut is inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and follows the unbalancing of the holy city of Tova amid a fateful solstice eclipse.
Epic Fantasy; World-building
Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones
A contemporary horror story where a teen prank goes very wrong and all hell breaks loose: is there a supernatural cause, a psychopath on the loose, or both?
Apple: Skin to the Core by Eric Gansworth
The term “Apple” is a slur in Native communities across the country. It’s for someone supposedly “red on the outside, white on the inside.” Eric Gansworth tells the story of his family, of Onondaga among Tuscaroras, of Native folks everywhere. From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds.