North American indigenous literature began over thirty thousand years ago, when indigenous people began telling stories of emergence and creation, journey and quest, and heroism and trickery. In this month's selection of the Very Short Book Club--Native American Literature: A Very Short Introduction--Sean Teuton skillfully traces its evolution from the ancient role of bringing rain and healing the body, to its later purpose in resisting European invasion and colonization, into its current place as a world literature that confronts dominance while celebrating the imagination and resilience of indigenous lives. And, in turning to celebrated contemporary authors such as Thomas King, Leslie Silko, Sherman Alexie, Louise Erdrich, and James Welch, Teuton demonstrates that, like indigenous people, indigenous literature continues to survive because it adapts, both honoring the past and reaching for the future.
Anyone is welcome to join this Very Short Book Club, which is gradually--and in very short doses--working toward a complete understanding of Everything by tackling a new title from the Oxford University Press Very Short Introductions series every month. Or just come browse our collection of 200+ VSIs, offering concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, and Literary Theory to History. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given topic.
For a little extra credit, check out There There by Tommy Orange. "This is a novel about what it means to inhabit a land both yours and stolen from you, to simultaneously contend with the weight of belonging and unbelonging. There is an organic power to this book--a revelatory, controlled chaos. Tommy Orange writes the way a storm makes landfall." --Omar El Akkad, author of American War