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N. Scott Momaday


N(avarre) Scott Momaday was born in Lawton, Oklahoma in 1934. His mother was the author Natachee Scott Momaday and his father the painter Al Momaday. His father was Kiowa, while his mother had Cherokee blood. When he was six months old, a Kiowa elder named him Tsoai-talee (Rock Tree Boy), from a Kiowa legend about the origins of Devil’s Tower. After school, he went to the Augustus Military Academy and then to the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque, where he majored in political science. He subsequently studied law at the University of Virginia, where he met William Faulkner, who influenced his early work. After another spell at the University of New Mexico, he became a teacher on the Jicarilla Apache reservation. At the urging of a friend, he took a Ph. D. at Stanford University, with a thesis on the poet Frederick Goddard Tuckerman. He then taught at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Meanwhile, he had started work on what would become House Made of Dawn, originally conceived as a cycle of poems, before becoming a novel. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1969, the first Native American book to do so. Momaday has gone onto write poems, stories, novels, essays and memoirs. He is considered as one of the founders of the Native American Renaissance. He has also been very much involved in Native American and environmental issues. He died in 2024.

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N. Scott Momaday
N. Scott Momaday
N. Scott Momaday
N. Scott Momaday
N. Scott Momaday
N. Scott Momaday
N. Scott Momaday


1967 The Journey of Tai-me
1968 House Made of Dawn
1969 The Way to Rainy Mountain
1973 Colorado: Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring, with photographs by David Muench
1974 Angle of Geese and Other Poems
1976 The Colors of Night
1976 The Gourd Dancer
1976 The Names: A Memoir
1989 The Ancient Child
1992 In the Presence of the Sun: A Gathering of Shields
1992 In the Presence of the Sun: Stories and Poems, 1961-1991
1994 Circle of Wonder: A Native American Christmas Story
1997 The Man Made of Words: Essays, Stories, Passages
1999 In the Bear’s House
2006 Four Arrows & Magpie: A Kiowa Story
2007 Three Plays: The Indolent Boys, Children of the Sun, and The Moon in Two Windows
2011 Again the Far Morning: New and Selected Poems
2020 The Death of Sitting Bear (poetry)
2020 Earth Keeper: Reflections on the American Land (poetry)