Even More Staff Picks

The Turquoise Ledge

Leslie Marmon Silko's new book, her first in ten years, combines memoir with family history and reflections on the creatures and beings that command her attention and inform her vision of the world, taking readers along on her daily walks through the arroyos and ledges of the Sonoran desert in Arizona.

The Turquoise Ledge

Leslie Silko
Adult Nonfiction - 800.92 Silko Sil

Leslie Marmon Silko's new book, her first in ten years, combines memoir with family history and reflections on the creatures and beings that command her attention and inform her vision of the world, taking readers along on her daily walks through the arroyos and ledges of the Sonoran desert in Arizona. Silko weaves tales from her family's past into her observations, using the turquoise stones she finds on the walks to unite the strands of her stories, while the beauty and symbolism of the landscape around her, and of the snakes, birds, dogs, and other animals that share her life and form part of her family, figure prominently in her memories. Strongly influenced by Native American storytelling traditions, The Turquoise Ledge becomes a moving and deeply personal contemplation of the enormous spiritual power of the natural world-of what these creatures and landscapes can communicate to us, and how they are all linked.

The book is Silko's first extended work of nonfiction, and its ambitious scope, clear prose, and inventive structure are captivating. The Turquoise Ledge will delight loyal fans and new readers alike, and it marks the return of the unique voice and vision of a gifted storyteller.

Nonfiction by Native American Authors

Whereas

Whereas confronts the coercive language of the United States government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Native American peoples and tribes, and reflects that language in its officiousness and duplicity back on its perpetrators. Through a virtuosic array of short lyrics, prose poems, longer narrative sequences, resolutions, and disclaimers, Layli Long Soldier has created a brilliantly innovative text to examine histories, landscapes, her own writing, and her predicament inside national affiliations.

Whereas

Layli Long Soldier
Adult Nonfiction - 811.6 Lon

Whereas confronts the coercive language of the United States government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Native American peoples and tribes, and reflects that language in its officiousness and duplicity back on its perpetrators. Through a virtuosic array of short lyrics, prose poems, longer narrative sequences, resolutions, and disclaimers, Layli Long Soldier has created a brilliantly innovative text to examine histories, landscapes, her own writing, and her predicament inside national affiliations. “I am,” she writes, “a citizen of the United States and an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, meaning I am a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation―and in this dual citizenship I must work, I must eat, I must art, I must mother, I must friend, I must listen, I must observe, constantly I must live.” This strident, plaintive book introduces a major new voice in contemporary literature.

Nonfiction by Native American Authors

Crazy Brave: A Memoir

A memoir from the Native American poet describes her youth with an abusive stepfather, becoming a single teen mom, and how she struggled to finally find inner peace and her creative voice.

Crazy Brave: A Memoir

Joy Harjo
Adult Nonfiction - 800.92 Harjo Har

A memoir from the Native American poet describes her youth with an abusive stepfather, becoming a single teen mom, and how she struggled to finally find inner peace and her creative voice.

Nonfiction by Native American Authors

The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America

The setting for this haunting and encyclopedically researched work of history is colonial Massachusetts, where English Puritans first endeavoured to "civilize" a "savage" native populace. There, in February 1704, a French and Indian war party descended on the village of Deerfield, abducting a Puritan minister and his children. Although John Williams was eventually released, his daughter horrified the family by staying with her captors and marrying a Mohawk husband.

The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America

John Demos
Adult Nonfiction - 973.25 De

The setting for this haunting and encyclopedically researched work of history is colonial Massachusetts, where English Puritans first endeavoured to "civilize" a "savage" native populace. There, in February 1704, a French and Indian war party descended on the village of Deerfield, abducting a Puritan minister and his children. Although John Williams was eventually released, his daughter horrified the family by staying with her captors and marrying a Mohawk husband.

Out of this incident, The Bancroft Prize-winning historian John Demos has constructed a gripping narrative that opens a window into North America where English, French, and Native Americans faced one another across gulfs of culture and belief, and sometimes crossed over.

Nonfiction by Native American Authors

Men We Reaped: A Memoir

Recounts the loss of five young men in the author's life to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the misfortune that can follow those who live in poverty, sharing her experiences of living through the dying as she searches through answers in her community.

Men We Reaped: A Memoir

Jesmyn Ward
Adult Nonfiction - 800.92 Ward War

Recounts the loss of five young men in the author's life to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the misfortune that can follow those who live in poverty, sharing her experiences of living through the dying as she searches through answers in her community.

Nonfiction by Native American Authors

Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers: Poems

Jake Skeets’s collection is an unflinching portrait of the actual west, [but] it is also a fierce reclamation of a living place―full of beauty as well as brutality, whose shadows are equally capable of protecting encounters between boys learning to become, and to love, men. Its landscapes are ravaged, but they are also startlingly lush with cacti, yarrow, larkspur, sagebrush. And even their scars are made newly tender when mapped onto the lover’s body: A spine becomes a railroad.

Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers: Poems

Jake Skeets
Adult Nonfiction - 811.6 Ske

Jake Skeets’s collection is an unflinching portrait of the actual west, [but] it is also a fierce reclamation of a living place―full of beauty as well as brutality, whose shadows are equally capable of protecting encounters between boys learning to become, and to love, men. Its landscapes are ravaged, but they are also startlingly lush with cacti, yarrow, larkspur, sagebrush. And even their scars are made newly tender when mapped onto the lover’s body: A spine becomes a railroad. “Veins burst oil, elk black.” And “becoming a man / means knowing how to become charcoal.” Rooted in Navajo history and thought, these poems show what has been brewing in an often forgotten part of the American literary landscape, an important language, beautiful and bone dense.

Nonfiction by Native American Authors

Favor of Crows: New and Collected Haiku

Favor of Crows is a collection of new and previously published original haiku poems over the past forty years. Gerald Vizenor has earned a wide and devoted audience for his poetry. In the introductory essay the author compares the imagistic poise of haiku with the early dream songs of the Anishinaabe, or Chippewa. Vizenor concentrates on these two artistic traditions, and by intuition he creates a union of vision, perception, and natural motion in concise poems; he creates a sense of presence and at the same time a naturalistic trace of impermanence.

Favor of Crows: New and Collected Haiku

Gerald Robert Vizenor
Adult Nonfiction - 811.54 Viz

Favor of Crows is a collection of new and previously published original haiku poems over the past forty years. Gerald Vizenor has earned a wide and devoted audience for his poetry. In the introductory essay the author compares the imagistic poise of haiku with the early dream songs of the Anishinaabe, or Chippewa. Vizenor concentrates on these two artistic traditions, and by intuition he creates a union of vision, perception, and natural motion in concise poems; he creates a sense of presence and at the same time a naturalistic trace of impermanence.

Nonfiction by Native American Authors

Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories, and Recipes from the Upper Midwest

Local foods have garnered much attention in recent years, but the concept is hardly new: indigenous peoples have always made the most of nature's gifts. Their menus were truly the "original local," celebrated here in sixty home-tested recipes paired with profiles of tribal activists, food researchers, families, and chefs. The innovative recipes collected here--from Ramp Kimchi to Three Sisters Salsa, from Manoomin Lasagna to Venison Mole Chili--will inspire home cooks not only to make better use of the foods all around them but also to honor the storied heritage they represent.

Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories, and Recipes from the Upper Midwest

Heid E. Erdrich
Adult Nonfiction - 641.59297 Erd

Local foods have garnered much attention in recent years, but the concept is hardly new: indigenous peoples have always made the most of nature's gifts. Their menus were truly the "original local," celebrated here in sixty home-tested recipes paired with profiles of tribal activists, food researchers, families, and chefs. The innovative recipes collected here--from Ramp Kimchi to Three Sisters Salsa, from Manoomin Lasagna to Venison Mole Chili--will inspire home cooks not only to make better use of the foods all around them but also to honor the storied heritage they represent.

Nonfiction by Native American Authors

My Body is a Book of Rules

As Elissa Washuta makes the transition from college kid to independent adult, she finds herself overwhelmed by the calamities piling up in her brain. When her mood-stabilizing medications aren’t threatening her life, they’re shoving her from depression to mania and back in the space of an hour. Her crisis of American Indian identity bleeds into other areas of self-doubt; mental illness, sexual trauma, ethnic identity, and independence become intertwined.

My Body is a Book of Rules

Elissa Washuta
921 Washuta Was

As Elissa Washuta makes the transition from college kid to independent adult, she finds herself overwhelmed by the calamities piling up in her brain. When her mood-stabilizing medications aren’t threatening her life, they’re shoving her from depression to mania and back in the space of an hour. Her crisis of American Indian identity bleeds into other areas of self-doubt; mental illness, sexual trauma, ethnic identity, and independence become intertwined. Sifting through the scraps of her past in seventeen formally inventive chapters, Washuta aligns the strictures of her Catholic school education with Cosmopolitan’s mandates for womanhood, views memories through the distorting lens of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and contrasts her bipolar highs and lows with those of Britney Spears and Kurt Cobain. Built on the bones of fundamental identity questions as contorted by a distressed brain, My Body Is a Book of Rules pulls no punches in its self-deprecating and ferocious look at human fallibility.

Nonfiction by Native American Authors

#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women

Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous women across North America resound in this book. In the same style as the best-selling Dreaming in Indian, #Not Your Princess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, humiliation, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women making themselves heard and demanding change.

#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women

Lisa Charleyboy, Mary Beth Leatherdale
- Editor
Adult Nonfiction - 818 Not

Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous women across North America resound in this book. In the same style as the best-selling Dreaming in Indian, #Not Your Princess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, humiliation, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women making themselves heard and demanding change. Sometimes angry, often reflective, but always strong, the women in this book will give teen readers insight into the lives of women who, for so long, have been virtually invisible.

Nonfiction by Native American Authors

Pages

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