Rather than create a comprehensive cultural and historical genealogy for Native American literature, David Treuer investigates a selection of the most important Native American novels and, with a novelist's eye and a critic's mind, examines the intricate process of understanding literature on its own terms.
Native American Fiction: A User's Manual is speculative, witty, engaging, and written for the inquisitive reader. These essays—on Sherman Alexie, Forrest Carter, James Fenimore Cooper, Louise Erdrich, Leslie Marmon Silko, and James Welch—are rallying cries for the need to read literature as literature and, ultimately, reassert the importance and primacy of the word.
"In these crisp, sharp-edged essays David Treuer dares to question the usefulness, let alone the validity, of the term, 'Native American Fiction.'"—Alan Trachtenberg, author of the Francis Parkman Prize-winning Shades of Hiawatha
"Native American Fiction: A User's Manual convincingly questions the validity of the debates of authenticity that have surrounded discussions of Indian literature. David Treuer's book is likely to become the manifesto of a new generation of Native American writers and critics and will be of interest to readers of literature anywhere."—Werner Sollors, author of Ethnicity, Theories of Ethnicity, and The Invention of Ethnicity