House Made of Dawn
House Made of Dawn is a novel by N. Scott Momaday, widely credited as leading the way for the breakthrough of Native American literature into the mainstream. It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969.
House Made of Dawn was conceived first as a series of poems, then replanned as stories, and finally shaped into a novel. It is based largely on Momaday's firsthand knowledge of life at Jemez Pueblo. Like Abel, Momaday lived inside and outside of mainstream society, growing up on the reservation and later attending school and teaching at major universities. In the novel Momaday combines his personal experiences with his imagination - something his father (Al Momaday) and especially his mother taught him to do, according to his memoir The Names.
Details in the novel correspond to real-life occurrences. Momaday refers in his memoir The Names to an incident that took place at Jemez on which he based the murder in House Made of Dawn. A native resident killed a New Mexico state trooper, and the incident created great controversy. Native American beliefs and customs, actual geographical locations, and realistic events also inspired elements in House Made of Dawn. According to one of Momaday's letters:
Abel is a composite of the boys I knew at Jemez. I wanted to say something about them. An appalling number of them are dead; they died young, and they died violent deaths. One of them was drunk and run over. Another was drunk and froze to death. (He was the best runner I ever knew). One man was murdered, butchered by a kinsman under a telegraph pole just east of San Ysidro. And yet another committed suicide. A good many who have survived this long are living under the Relocation Program in Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, etc. They're a sad lot of people.
According to one historian, the novel is highly accurate in its portrayal of a peyote service, though in southern California such services normally take place in the desert, not the city (Stewart, p. 319).
Allusions/references to actual history, geography and science
Originally published by Harper & Row, editions have subsequently been brought out by HarperCollins, the Penguin Group, Econo-Clad Books and the University of Arizona Press.
Google Book Search, House Made of Dawn. . Excerpts of Momaday's work, three pages per search. To view more of the book, type in phrases at the end of the last page viewed.
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- Theoharris, Zoe. The problem of cultural integration in Momaday's House made of dawn (Emporia State University: 1979)
- Scarberry-Garcia, Susan. Landmarks of Healing: A Study of House Made of Dawn (University of New Mexico Press: 1990)
- "N. Scott Momaday: House Made of Dawn," Characters in Twentieth-Century Literature, Book Two, (Gale Research, 1995)
- Bennett, John Z. "Review of House Made of Dawn". Western American Literature. Vol. V, No. 1, Spring, 1970, p. 69.
- Douglas, Christopher. "The flawed design: American imperialism in N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn and Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian". Studies in Contemporary Fiction, Fall 2003 Vol. 45 i1 p. 3.
- Evers, Lawrence J. "Words and Place: A Reading of House Made of Dawn," Western American Literature. Vol. XI, No. 4, February, 1977, pp. 297-320.
- Hirsch, Bernard A. "Self-Hatred and Spiritual Corruption in House Made of Dawn." loc. cit. Vol. XVII. No. 4. Winter, 1983. pp. 307-20.
- Hylton, Marion Willard. "On a Trail of Pollen: Momaday's House Made of Dawn," Critique, Vol. XIV, No. 2, 1972, pp. 60-9.
- Jaskoski, Helen. "House Made of Dawn: Overview," Reference Guide to American Literature, 3rd ed., edited by Jim Kamp, (St. James Press: 1994)
- Kelly, David. Overview of "House Made of Dawn," Novels for Students, Vol. 10 (The Gale Group: 2000)
- Oleson, Carole. "The Remembered Earth: Momaday's House Made of Dawn". South Dakota Review, Vol. 11, No. 1, Spring, 1973, pp. 59-78.
- Trimmer, Joseph F. "Native Americans and the American Mix: N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn." The Indiana Social Studies Quarterly 28 (1975).
- Velie, Alan R. "House Made of Dawn: Nobody's Protest Novel," Four American Indian Literary Masters: N. Scott Momaday, James Welch, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Gerald Vizenor, (University of Oklahoma Press: 1982) pp. 52-64.
- Waniek, Marilyn Nelson. "The Power of Language in N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn" Minority Voices, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1980, pp. 23-8.
- Allen, Paula Gunn. "All the Good Indians." The 60's Without Apology. Ed. Sohnya Sayres, Anders
- Bernstein, Allison R. American Indians and World War II. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.
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- Groseclose, Elgin. The Kiowa. Elgin, Ill.: David C. Cook Publishing, 1978.
- Castillo, Susan. "Naming Into Being: Ethnic Identities in N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn." Q/W/E/R/T/Y.: arts, litteratures & civilisations du monde anglophone 7 (1997): 163-66.
- Cook-Lynn, Elizabeth. Why I Can't Read Wallace Stegner and Other Essays. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1996.
- Cordell, Linda S. "Prehistory: Eastern Anasazi." Sturtevant 131-51.
- Diamond, Jared M. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York: Norton, 1999.
- Domina, Lynn. "Liturgies, Rituals, Ceremonies: The Conjunction of Roman Catholic and Native
- American Religious Traditions in N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn. Paintbrush 21 (1994): 7-27.
- Drinnon, Richard. Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian-Hating and Empire-Building. 1980. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1997.
- Evers, Lawrence J. "The Killing of a New Mexican State Trooper: Ways of Telling a Historical Event." Critical Essays on Native American Literature. Ed. Andrew Wiget. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1985.
- Hafen, R Jane. "Pan-Indianism and Tribal Sovereignties in House Made of Dawn and The Names."Western American Literature 34: 1 (1999): 6-24.
- Hislop, Andrew. "The Wired West." The New Republic 6 May 1985: 37-38.
- Miles, Jack. God: A Biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995.
- Momaday, N. Scott. House Made of Dawn. 1968. New York: HarperPerennial, 1999.
- Nelson, Robert M. Place and Vision: The Function of Landscape in Native American Fiction. New York: Lang, 1993.
- Ortiz, Alfonso, ed. Handbook of North American Indians. Vol. 10: Southwest. Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1983.
- Parsons, Elsie Clews. Pueblo Indian Religion. 2 vols. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996.
- Rowe, John Carlos. Literary Culture and U.S. Imperialism: From the Revolution to World War 11. New York: Oxford UP, 2000.
- Samudio, Josephine, ed. Book Review Digest. Vol. 64. New York: H. W. Wilson, 1969.
- Sandner, Donald. Navaho Symbols of Healing. Rochester, Vt.: Healing Arts Press, 1991.
- Sando, Joe S. "Jemez Pueblo." Sturtevant 418-29.
- Scarberry-Garcia, Susan. Landmarks of Healing: A Study of House Made of Dawn. Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1990.
- Schroder, Albert H. "Pecos Pueblo." Sturtevant 430-37.
- Schubnell, Matthias. N. Scott Momaday: The Cultural and Literary Background. Norman: U of Oklahoma P, 1985.
- Slotkin, Richard. Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600-1860. U of Oklahoma P, 2000.
- Stephanson, Stanley Aronowitz, and Frederic Jameson. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1984. 226-29.
- Stewart, Omer C. Peyote Religion: A History. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987.
- Sturtevant, William, ed. Southwest. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian, 1979. Vol. 9 of Handbook of American Indians. 20 vols.
- Trimmer, Joseph F. "Native Americans and the American Mix: N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn." Indiana Social Studies Quarterly 28.2 (1975): 75-91.
- Velie, Alan. "Identity and Genre in House Made of Dawn." Q/W/EIR/T/Y: arts, litteratures & civilisations du monde anglophone 7 (1997): 175-81.
- "The Return of the Native: The Renaissance of Tribal Religions as Reflected in the Fiction of N. Scott Momaday." Religion and Literature 26:1 (1994): 135-46.
- Waldman, Carl. Atlas of the North American Indian. Maps and illus. Molly Braun. New York: Facts on File, 1985.
- Watkins, Floyd C. In Time and Place: Some Origins of American Fiction. Athens: U of Georgia Pg 1977.
- Wiget, Andrew. Native American Literature. Boston: Twayne, 1985.
- Zachrau, Thekla. "N. Scott Momaday: Towards an Indian Identity." American Indian Culture and Research Journal 3:1 (1979): 39-56.