Book List: Top Six Books by Indigenous Writers to Read Right Now

Nature Poem By Tommy Pico Cover Image
ISBN: 9781941040638
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Tin House Books - May 9th, 2017

Nature Poem follows Teebs--a young, queer, American Indian (or NDN) poet--who can't bring himself to write a nature poem. For the reservation-born, urban-dwelling hipster, the exercise feels stereotypical, reductive, and boring. He hates nature. He prefers city lights to the night sky. He'd slap a tree across the face. He'd rather write a mountain of hashtag punchlines about death and give head in a pizza-parlor bathroom; he'd rather write odes to Aretha Franklin and Hole. The closer his people were identified with the "natural world," he figures, the easier it was to mow them down like the underbrush. But Teebs gradually learns how to interpret constellations through his own lens, along with human nature, sexuality, language, music, and Twitter.

There There: A novel By Tommy Orange Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525520375
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Published: Knopf - June 5th, 2018

The New York Times called THERE THERE “groundbreaking” and “extraordinary.” People Magazine calls it “brilliant and propulsive.” Tommy Orange’s novel — linked narratives of various individuals attending the Big Powwow in Oakland, California –– shows how multifaceted, intergenerational, and complex the American Indian experience is. He visits the Inprint Margarett Root Brown reading series in February. We can’t wait to see what Tommy does next.

Where the Dead Sit Talking By Brandon Hobson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616958879
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Soho Press - February 20th, 2018

Longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award!

Set in rural Oklahoma during the late 1980s, Where the Dead Sit Talking is a startling, authentically voiced and lyrically written Native American coming-of-age story.

With his single mother in jail, Sequoyah, a fifteen-year-old Cherokee boy, is placed in foster care with the Troutt family. Literally and figuratively scarred by his mother’s years of substance abuse, Sequoyah keeps mostly to himself, living with his emotions pressed deep below the surface. At least until he meets seventeen-year-old Rosemary, another youth staying with the Troutts. Sequoyah and Rosemary bond over their shared Native American background and tumultuous paths through the foster care system, but as Sequoyah’s feelings toward Rosemary deepen, the precariousness of their lives and the scars of their pasts threaten to undo them both.

Jonny Appleseed By Joshua Whitehead Cover Image
ISBN: 9781551527253
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Published: Arsenal Pulp Press - May 15th, 2018

Off the reserve and in the big city, two-spirit (Indigiqueer) Jonny Appleseed must figure out a way to make a living in the week before he must return to the reservation to attend his stepfather’s funeral. The seven days are like a fevered dream: stories of love, trauma, sex, kinship, ambition, and the heartbreaking recollection of his beloved kokum (grandmother). Jonny's world is a series of breakages, appendages, and linkages--and as he goes through the motions of preparing to return home, he learns how to put together the pieces of his life. Jonny Appleseed is a unique, shattering vision of Indigenous life, full of grit, glitter, and dreams.

Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1) By Rebecca Roanhorse Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534413504
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - June 26th, 2018

Rebecca Roanhorse is a remarkable writer, known for her speculative, digital, wrenching short story “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience” (Hugo and Nebula Short Story Winner). In TRAIL OF LIGHTNING, she returns to a fantasy landscape of indigenous gods, heroes –– and monsters. This book is an impeccable apocalypse story featuring two great characters: Maggie Hoskie, a Dinétah monster hunter, and a medicine man named Kai Arviso. Love this one? It’s the first of a series; the next installment comes out early next year.

Future Home of the Living God: A Novel By Louise Erdrich Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062694058
Availability: UNAVAILABLE
Published: Harper - November 14th, 2017

This book covers several topics — struggles to control reproductive rights, viral disease, governmental abuse of control, and many other disastrous situations that we currently don’t have to grapple with. As a strange epidemic sweeps the country affecting newborns, our main character, a pregnant woman named Cedar Hawk Songmaker, must find her birth mother — an Ojibwe living on the reservation — to understand her roots and her baby’s future. FUTURE HOME OF THE LIVING GOD interrogates lots of timely political issues, but also deeper, fundamental struggles about personhood and agency.

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