This week we’re discussing the debut novel by N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1968. The book had an interesting road to publication, and the prize seemed to take both the author and his publishing house by surprise. We look at how people were writing about the novel in 1968, and discover that–surprise, surprise–white people were kinda racist about Native American culture! Even in praising Momaday’s book, they couldn’t help but drag out lots of stereotypical tropes about American Indians.
Also this week: critics worry (in 1968) that the memoir will kill the novel.
If you like the show, and would like to have more of it in your life, you can subscribe to our Patreon for $5 a month and get access to our entire catalog of bonus episodes, including our new Hunt for the Worst Book of All Time, which so far has included Ethan Frome, The Christmas Shoes, and Tucker Max’s I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.
Stream or download the episode here: