Literature

Kevin Goodan with all his brothers and step-father this summer.

Do you have to be Native American to write Native American fiction? Kevin Goodan grew up among the Salish people. His brothers and stepfather are tribal members. But Kevin is white.

The IAIA campus

A new wave of Native writers is coming of age. And at the center of it is a one-of-a-kind MFA program at the IAIA, in Santa Fe. Director Jennifer Foerster told Charles that the goal is to rewrite the literary landscape.

Person at the Institute for American Indian Arts.

A wide range of writers — now celebrated with commercial and critical success — work to celebrate an evolving literary canon without limiting it. 

Writing the future
Air Dates:
  • September 07, 2019
  • January 26, 2019

Every so often, a new literary movement coalesces. A new generation of writers finds a voice. This time they’re young, gifted, and Native American.

A powwow in 2015 at the Institute for American Indian Arts.

Tommy Orange's debut novel “There There” was one of the big breakout books of 2018. He told Steve that with his novel, he hoped to better represent modern Native Americans that have grown up living in cities.

Heart Wall

Writer Alice Walker has been thinking about how anger co-exists with peace. She spoke with Shannon Henry Kleiber about her new book of poems, “Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart,” and how she works on healing herself when she’s been hurt by others.

"Gilead" by Marilynne Robinson

Human rights attorney Bryan Stevenson works to challenge excessive punishment and mass incarceration, and wrote a book about his experiences called "Just Mercy." He recommends a novel that reminds us of the importance of compassion, mercy, and connection with others in our lives — values that he feels we lack when it comes to considering our criminal justice system.
 

"Winter World" by Bernd Heinrich

How does a hummingbird survive in subzero winter temperatures? Why endure them at all? Author T.C. Boyle couldn’t understand why the small bird would be anywhere near his mountain writing retreat, but he found the answer in Bernd Heinrich’s “Winter World.”

Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard has published six volumes of intensely personal descriptions of his daily life. But his “honesty” cost him some of his closest relationships, including his marriage.

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