May 6, 1996 - June 30, 1996
About This Exhibit
A small exhibit entitled "Native Voices: American Indian Literature at the Golda Meir Library" featured selections from the library's rich holdings in Native American literary works, and was on view on the main floor of the Golda Meir Library March 1996 through July 1996. The exhibit drew from the library's general collections, Special Collections, and Curriculum Collection to demonstrate the library's comprehensive holdingsin Native American literature, covering a broad spectrum of genres including oral traditions, narrative, short stories, fiction, children's literature, poetry, and essays.
The contemporary American Indian literary voice derives from the oral traditions ofAmerica's native peoples. While written Indian literature has its historical emergence in the early nineteenth century, and native fictive literature began to build a distinct voice in the early twentieth century, the contemporary Native American literary movementis largely a post-World War II phenomenon. After the war, Native American literature entered its full bloom. It culminated in the so-called "Native American Renaissance" of the late 1960s, generally centered around the publication, critical recognition, and subsequent Pulitzer Prize of N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn (1968). It is to this post-1960s period that "Native Voices" gives focus, although earlier literature is also represented.
Examples of materials on display include limited, fine-presseditions of works by Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo), Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki), and Wisconsin native Roberta Hill Whiteman (Oneida); signed presentation copies of works by Sherman Alexie (Spokane/Coeur d'Alene), Wilma Mankiller (Cherokee), and W. S. Penn (Nez Perce/Osage); literature for younger readers by Marilou Awiakta (Cherokee), Shonto Bengay (Navajo), and Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve (Sioux); and an important, but uncommon 1899 novel, O-gi-maw-kwe Mit-i-gwa-ki by Potawatomi leader Simon Pokagon, constituting the first American Indian novel devoted to Indian life. Other authors represented in the exhibit include Paula Gunn Allen (Laguna Pueblo-Sioux), Robert J. Conley (Cherokee), Vine Deloria (Standing Rock Sioux), Louise Erdrich (Chippewa), Joy Harjo (Cherokee-Creek), Linda Hogan (Chickasaw), Maurice Kenny (Seneca-Mohawk), N. Scott Momaday (Kiowa), Simon Ortiz (Acoma Pueblo), Wendy Rose (Hopi-Miwok), and Gerald Vizenor (Chippewa).
"Native Voices: American Indian Literature at the Golda Meir Library" was researched and prepared by Special Collections intern Sarah McDaniel, a graduate student in the UWM School of Library and Information Science. The online exhibit was designed by Leslie Heinrichs.
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Last edited on Wednesday, June 28, 2000.