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House Made of Dawn (Perennial Library)
House Made of Dawn - Perennial Library
Author: N. Scott Momaday
The magnificent Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of a proud stranger in his native land. He was a young American Indian named Abel, and he lived in two worlds. One was that of his father, wedding him to the rhythm of the seasons, the harsh beauty of the land, the ecstasy of the drug called peyote. The other was the world of the twentieth cen...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780060916336
ISBN-10: 0060916338
Publication Date: 10/1989
Pages: 224
Rating:
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 15

3.1 stars, based on 15 ratings
Publisher: Harpercollins
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
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reviewed House Made of Dawn (Perennial Library) on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Won a Pulitzer Prize. A wonderful, though incredibly tragic, look at what it's like for many Native Americans who endure the conflict of surviving in their own tribal cultures and in the larger (and fiercer) culture of modern America.
reviewed House Made of Dawn (Perennial Library) on + 52 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
"House Made of Dawn," by N. Scott Momaday, is an extraordinary work of American literature. In this book Momaday tells the story of Abel, a Native American whose life journey takes him from the rural world of his ancestors to the harsh urban environment of an American city. Along the way Momaday creates passages of great pain, beauty, and wonder.
Consider the book's opening lines: "Dypaloh. There was a house made of dawn. It was made of pollen and of rain, and the land was very old and everlasting. There were many colors on the hills, and the plain was bright with different colored clays and sands." Prose like this gives the book a timeless, mythic flavor, and is stunningly complemented by naturalistic passages that explore such visceral topics as violence, sexual ecstasy, and alcohol abuse.

Momaday superbly evokes the people, animals, and geography of the rural West. His book also explores the significance of both oral and written cultural traditions. The book features one of the most intriguing characters in 20th century American fiction: The Rev. J.B.B. Tosameh -- "orator, physician, Priest of the Sun, son of Hummingbird" -- in whose character Momaday explores the collision between Christianity and Native American religious traditions.

"House Made of Dawn" has a somewhat fragmented structure. Like William Faulkner, Momaday expects the reader to do some work in assembling the greater story. But such work is rewarding. Recommended as companion texts: "A Son of the Forest and Other Writings," by groundbreaking Pequot Indian author William Apess; and "Mohawk Trail," by Beth Brant, a contemporary author of the Bay of Quinte Mohawk people.
reviewed House Made of Dawn (Perennial Library) on + 130 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I found this book hard to begin, but worth the effort. Who am I to criticize the Pulitzer committee, anyway?
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