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Book Lists

Book Lists for Adults

Book Lists for Adults

Native and Indigenous Authors

Roanhorse, Rebecca, author.
SCIENCE FICTION ROA
"The great city of Tova is shattered. The sun is held within the smothering grip of the Crow God's eclipse, but a comet that marks the death of a ruler and heralds the rise of a new order is imminent. As sea captain Xiala is swept up in the chaos and currents of change, she finds an unexpected ally in the former Priest of Knives. For the Clan Matriarchs of Tova, tense alliances form as far-flung enemies gather and the war in the heavens is reflected upon the earth. And for Serapio and Naranpa, both now living avatars, the struggle for free will and personhood in the face of destiny rages. How will Serapio stay human when he is steeped in prophecy and surrounded by those who desire only his power? Is there a future for Naranpa in a transformed Tova without her total destruction?"-- Provided by publisher

Hokeah, Oscar
"STUNNING."  — Susan Power, author of  The Grass Dancer A moving and deeply engaging debut novel about a young Native American man finding strength in his familial identity, from a stellar new voice in fiction. Oscar Hokeah’s electric debut takes us into the life of Ever Geimausaddle, whose family—part Mexican, part Native American—is determined to hold onto their community despite obstacles everywhere they turn. Ever’s father is injured at the hands of corrupt police on the border when he goes to visit family in Mexico, while his mother struggles both to keep her job and care for her husband. And young Ever is lost and angry at all that he doesn’t understand, at this world that seems to undermine his sense of safety. Ever’s relatives all have ideas about who he is and who he should be. His Cherokee grandmother, knowing the importance of proximity, urges the family to move across Oklahoma to be near her, while his grandfather, watching their traditions slip away, tries to reunite Ever with his heritage through traditional gourd dances. Through it all, every relative wants the same: to remind Ever of the rich and supportive communities that surround him, there to hold him tight, and for Ever to learn to take the strength given to him to save not only himself but also the next generation. How will this young man visualize a place for himself when the world hasn’t made room for him to start with? Honest, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, Calling for a Blanket Dance is the story of how Ever Geimausaddle finds his way home.
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Hämäläinen, Pekka, 1967- author.
970.0049 HAM
"This nation's history and self-understanding have long depended on the notion of a "colonial America," an epoch that supposedly laid the foundation for the modern United States. In Indigenous Continent, Pekka Hämäläinen overturns the traditional, Eurocentric narrative, demonstrating that, far from being weak and helpless "victims" of European colonialism, Indigenous peoples controlled North America well into the 19th century. From the Iroquois and Pueblos to the Lakotas and Comanches, Native empires frequently decimated white newcomers in battle, forcing them to accept and even adopt Native ways. Even as the white population skyrocketed and colonists' land greed become ever more extravagant, Indigenous peoples flourished due to sophisticated diplomacy and flexible leadership structures. As Hämäläinen ultimately contends, instead of "colonial America" we should speak of an "Indigenous America" that was only slowly and unevenly becoming colonial. In our myth-busting era, this restoration of Native Americans to their rightful place at the very center of American history will be seen as one of the most important correctives yet"-- Provided by publisher.

970.0049 WE
"A powerful, intimate collection of conversations with Indigenous Americans on the climate crisis and the Earth's future"-- Provided by publisher.

Bird-Wilson, Lisa, author.
FICTION BIR
"When we first meet Ruby, a Métis woman in her 30s, she's a mess. She's angling to sleep with her therapist while also rekindling an old relationship with a man who was - let's just say - a mistake. As we will soon learn, however, Ruby's story is far broader and deeper than its rollicking, somewhat lighthearted first chapter. This is the story of a woman in search of herself, in every sense. Given up for adoption as an infant, Ruby was raised by a white couple who understand little of her Indigenous heritage. Growing up Ruby longs to know where she comes from and who her people are. This is the great mystery that hovers over her life and the book. Through a non-chronological structure, we meet the people who have shaped her life: her adoptive parents; her birth parents and grandparents; the men and women Ruby has been romantically involved with. All these characters form a kaleidoscope of stories, giving Ruby's life dignity and meaning"-- Provided by publisher.

Harjo, Joy
A magnificent selection of fifty poems to celebrate three-term US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo's fifty years as a poet. Over a long, influential career in poetry, Joy Harjo has been praised for her "warm, oracular voice" (John Freeman, Boston Globe) that speaks "from a deep and timeless source of compassion for all" (Craig Morgan Teicher, NPR). Her poems are musical, intimate, political, and wise, intertwining ancestral memory and tribal histories with resilience and love. In this gemlike volume, Harjo selects her best poems from across fifty years, beginning with her early discoveries of her own voice and ending with moving reflections on our contemporary moment. Generous notes on each poem offer insight into Harjo's inimitable poetics as she takes inspiration from Navajo horse songs and jazz, reckons with home and loss, and listens to the natural messengers of the earth. As evidenced in this transcendent collection, Joy Harjo's "poetry is light and elixir, the very best prescription for us in wounded times" (Sandra Cisneros, Millions).
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Talty, Morgan, 1991- author.
FICTION TAL
"Set in a Native community in Maine, Night of the Living Rez is a riveting debut collection about what it means to be Penobscot in the twenty-first century and what it means to live, to survive, and to persevere after tragedy. In twelve striking, luminescent stories, author Morgan Talty--with searing humor, abiding compassion, and deep insight--breathes life into tales of family and a community as they struggle with a painful past and an uncertain future. A boy unearths a jar that holds an old curse, which sets into motion his family's unraveling; a man, while trying to swindle some pot from a dealer, discovers a friend passed out in the woods, his hair frozen into the snow; a grandmother suffering from Alzheimer's projects the past onto her grandson; and two friends, inspired by Antiques Roadshow, attempt to rob the tribal museum for valuable root clubs. A collection that examines the consequences and merits of inheritance, Night of the Living Rez is an unforgettable portrayal of an Indigenous community and marks the arrival of a standout talent in contemporary fiction"-- Provided by publisher.

Harjo, Joy, author.
BIO HARJO
"Poet Laureate Joy Harjo offers a vivid, lyrical, and inspiring call for love and justice in this contemplation of her trailblazing life. In the second memoir from the first Native American to serve as US poet laureate, Joy Harjo invites us to travel along the heartaches, losses, and humble realizations of her "poet-warrior" road. A musical, kaleidoscopic meditation, Poet Warrior reveals how Harjo came to write poetry of compassion and healing, poetry with the power to unearth the truth and demand justice. Weaving together the voices that shaped her, Harjo listens to stories of ancestors and family, the poetry and music that she first encountered as a child, the teachings of a changing earth, and the poets who paved her way. She explores her grief at the loss of her mother and sheds light on the rituals that nourish her as an artist, mother, wife, and community member. Moving fluidly among prose, song, and poetry, Poet Warrior is a luminous journey of becoming that sings with all the jazz, blues, tenderness, and bravery that we know as distinctly Joy Harjo"-- Provided by publisher.

Hobson, Brandon, author.
FICTION HOB
"Steeped in Cherokee myths and history, a novel about a fractured family reckoning with the tragic death of their son long ago--from National Book Award finalist Brandon Hobson"-- Provided by publisher.

Boulley, Angeline, author.
YA FICTION BOU
Daunis, who is part Ojibwe, defers attending the University of Michigan to care for her mother and reluctantly becomes involved in the investigation of a series of drug-related deaths.

Geller, Danielle, author.
BIO GELLER
"After Danielle Geller's mother dies of alcohol withdrawal while homeless, she is forced to return to Florida. Using her training as a librarian and archivist, Geller collects her mother's documents, diaries, and photographs into a single suitcase and begins a journey of confronting her family, her harrowing past, and the decisions she's been forced to make, a journey that will end at her mother's home--the Navajo reservation. Geller masterfully intertwines wrenching prose with archival documents to create a deeply moving narrative of loss and inheritance that pays homage to our pasts, traditions, heritage, and the family we are given, and the ones we choose"-- Provided by publisher.

Eustace, Nicole, author.
364.1523 EUS
"An immersive tale of the killing of a Native American man and its far-reaching consequences for Colonial America. In the summer of 1722, on the eve of a conference between the Five Nations of the Iroquois and British-American colonists, two colonial fur traders brutally attacked an Indigenous hunter in colonial Pennsylvania. The crime set the entire mid-Atlantic on edge, with many believing that war was imminent. Frantic efforts to resolve the case created a contest between Native American forms of justice, centered on community, forgiveness, and reparations, and an ideology of harsh reprisal, based on British law, that called for the killers' execution. In a stunning narrative history based on painstaking original research, acclaimed historian Nicole Eustace reconstructs the crime and its aftermath, taking us into the worlds of Euro-Americans and Indigenous peoples in this formative period. A feat of reclamation evoking Laurel Thatcher Ulrich's A Midwife's Tale and Alan Taylor's William Cooper's Town, Eustace's utterly absorbing account provides a new understanding of Indigenous forms of justice, with lessons for our era"-- Provided by publisher.

Ford, Kelli Jo, author.
FICTION FOR
"It's 1974 in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and fifteen-year-old Justine grows up in a family of tough, complicated, and loyal women, presided over by her mother, Lula, and Granny. After Justine's father abandoned the family, Lula became a devout member of the Holiness Church-a community that Justine at times finds stifling and terrifying. But she does her best as a devoted daughter, until an act of violence sends her on a different path forever. Crooked Hallelujah tells the stories of Justine-a mixed-blood Cherokee woman-and her daughter, Reney, as they move from Eastern Oklahoma's Indian Country in the hopes of starting a new, more stable life in Texas amid the oil bust of the 1980s. However, life in Texas isn't easy, and Reney feels unmoored from her family in Indian Country. Against the vivid backdrop of the Red River, we see their struggle to survive in a world of unreliable men and near-Biblical natural forces like wildfires and tornadoes, intent on stripping away their connections to one another and their very ideas of home. In lush and empathic prose, Kelli Jo Ford depicts what this family of proud, stubborn women sacrifice for those they love, amid larger forces of history, religion, class, and culture. This is a big-hearted and ambitious novel-in-stories of the powerful bonds between mothers and daughters by an exquisite and rare new talent"-- Provided by publisher.

Weiden, David Heska Wanbli, 1963- author.
FICTION WEI
Virgil Wounded Horse is the local enforcer on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. When justice is denied by the American legal system or the tribal council, Virgil is hired to deliver his own punishment, the kind that's hard to forget. But when heroin makes its way into the reservation and finds Virgil's nephew, his vigilantism suddenly becomes personal. He enlists the help of his ex-girlfriend and sets out to learn where the drugs are coming from, and how to make them stop. They follow a lead to Denver and find that drug cartels are rapidly expanding and forming new and terrifying alliances. And back on the reservation, a new tribal council initiative raises uncomfortable questions about money and power. As Virgil starts to link the pieces together, he must face his own demons and reclaim his Native identity. He realizes that being a Native American in the twenty-first century comes at an incredible cost.

Roanhorse, Rebecca, author.
SCIENCE FICTION ROA
"From the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Resistance Reborn comes the first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic. A god will return When the earth and sky converge Under the black sun In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world. Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man's mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain. Crafted with unforgettable characters, Rebecca Roanhorse has created an epic adventure exploring the decadence of power amidst the weight of history and the struggle of individuals swimming against the confines of society and their broken pasts in the most original series debut of the decade"-- Provided by publisher.

Fajardo-Anstine, Kali, author.
FICTION FAJ
Kali Fajardo-Anstine's magnetic story collection breathes life into her Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit in the American West. Against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado--a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite--these women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force.

Kimmerer, Robin Wall, author.
305.897 KIM
"An inspired weaving of indigenous knowledge, plant science, and personal narrative from a distinguished professor of science and a Native American whose previous book, Gathering Moss, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing. As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowing together to reveal what it means to see humans as "the younger brothers of creation." As she explores these themes she circles toward a central argument: the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the world. Once we begin to listen for the languages of other beings, we can begin to understand the innumerable life-giving gifts the world provides us and learn to offer our thanks, our care, and our own gifts in return"-- Provided by publisher.