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20 Best Books by Native American Authors to Add to Your Bookshelf

Right this way for the greatest contemporary literature from Indigenous Americans.

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Just like every cultural perspective, the Native American experience isn't a monolith and neither is literature written by Native and Indigenous authors. Even the appropriate terminology can differ depending on the individual experience. While many refer to Native people as Native American, the National Museum of the American Indian notes that it's best to use the individual tribal name, when possible. In the United States, Native American is the most common term (and as such, is the one we use here), but many Native people prefer the terms American Indian or Indigenous American.

Not that we need a reason to support these authors, but Native American Heritage Month in November is a great time to recommit to diversifying our bookshelves. Also known as American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month, it's a chance to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions and histories, and important contributions of Native people. It's also an opportunity to help raise awareness about the unique challenges the population has faced both throughout history and continue to today.

And while it's easy to get caught up in finding the right reading list, the seminal text, the perfect material, we may forget that reading is supposed to fun! So these aren't educational Native American books, or ones that attempt to encapsulate the entirety of a culture that's complex and complicated. They're just great books, full-stop, that happen to be written by Native and Indigenous writers. When you're done here, give our feel-good book club a try, because we can always use another addition to our TBR pile.

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1
Erika T. Wurth
White Horse: A Novel by Erika T. Wurth
Flatiron Books
Now 11% off
2
Leslie Marmon Silko
Almanac of the Dead by Leslie Marmon Silko
Penguin Books
3
Morgan Talty
Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty
Tin House
Now 17% off
4
Terese Marie Mailhot
Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot
Counterpoint
5
Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Woman of Light: A Novel by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
One World
Now 37% off
6
David Treuer
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer
Riverhead Books
Now 54% off
7
Tommy Pico
Nature Poem by Tommy Pico
Tin House Books
Now 15% off
8
Tommy Orange
There There: A novel by Tommy Orange
Knopf
9
Elissa Washuta
White Magic by Elissa Washuta
Tin House Books
Now 41% off
10
Jesmyn Ward
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Bloomsbury
Now 40% off
11
Brandon Hobson
The Removed: A Novel by Brandon Hobson
Ecco
12
Diane Wilson
The Seed Keeper: A Novel by Diane Wilson
Milkweed Editions
13
Stephen Graham Jones
My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones
Gallery Press
Now 50% off
14
Joy Harjo
Crazy Brave: A Memoir by Joy Harjo
W. W. Norton and Company
Now 36% off
15
Joseph Bruchac
Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac
Penguin Young Readers Group
16
Theodore C. Van Alst Jr.
Sacred Smokes by Theodore C. Van Alst Jr.
University of New Mexico Press
17
Melissa Febos
Girlhood by Melissa Febos
Bloomsbury
18
Louise Erdrich
The Sentence by Louise Erdirich
Harper
Now 34% off
19
Eddie Chuculate
Cheyenne Madonna by Eddie Chuculate
Black Sparrow Press
20
Linda LeGarde Grover
The Road Back to Sweetgrass: A Novel by Linda LeGarde Grover
University of Minnesota Press
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