N Scott Momaday Books In Order


  1. The Journey of Tai-Me (1967)
  2. House Made of Dawn (1968)
  3. The Way to Rainy Mountain (1969)
  4. Ancient Child (1989)
  5. Storyteller (1992)
  6. In the Bear’s House (1999)


  1. In the Presence of the Sun (1992)
  2. The Man Made of Words (1997)
  3. Dream Drawings (2022)


  1. Three Plays (2019)

Picture Books

  1. Circle of Wonder (1993)
  2. Four Arrows & Magpie (2006)

Non fiction

  1. The Names (1976)
  2. Colorado (1978)
  3. Ancestral Voice (1989)
  4. Conversations with N. Scott Momaday (1997)
  5. Sacred Legacy (2000)
  6. Earth Keeper (2020)

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N Scott Momaday Books Overview

The Journey of Tai-Me

‘Tai Me’ is a traditional medicine bundle used by the Kiowa in their Sun Dance. The bundle has been handed down from generation to generation, through the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. N. Scott Momaday made this discovery when he began his journey to learn about the Kiowa and his paternal lineage. Following the death of his beloved Kiowa grandmother, Aho, in 1963 Momaday set out on his quest to learn and document the Kiowa heritage, stories, and folklore. His Kiowa speaking father, artist Al Momaday, served as translator when Scott visited tribal elders to ask about their memories and stories. Scott gathered these stories into ‘The Journey of Tai Me’. Originally published only in a limited edition in 1967, ‘The Journey of Tai Me’ is recognized as the basis from which Momaday’s more popular ‘The Way to Rainy Mountain’ grew. When compiling ‘The Way to Rainy Mountain’, published by the University of New Mexico Press, Momaday added his own memories and some poems.

House Made of Dawn

The magnificent Pulitzer Prize winning novel of a stranger in his native land A young Native American, Abel has come home from a foreign war to find himself caught between two worlds. The first is the world of his father’s, wedding him to the rhythm of the seasons, the harsh beauty of the land, and the ancient rites and traditions of his people. But the other world modern, industrial America pulls at Abel, demanding his loyalty, claiming his soul, goading him into a destructive, compulsive cycle of dissipation and disgust. And the young man, torn in two, descends into hell.

The Way to Rainy Mountain

First published in paperback by UNM Press in 1976, The Way to Rainy Mountain has sold over 200,000 copies. This re designed edition includes a new Preface. The paperback edition of The Way to Rainy Mountain was first published twenty five years ago. One should not be surprised, I suppose, that it has remained vital, and immediate, for that is the nature of story. And this is particularly true of the oral tradition, which exists in a dimension of timelessness. I was first told these stories by my father when I was a child. I do not know how long they had existed before I heard them. They seem to proceed from a place of origin as old as the earth. The stories in The Way to Rainy Mountain are told in three voices. The first voice is the voice of my father, the ancestral voice, and the voice of the Kiowa oral tradition. The second is the voice of historical commentary. And the third is that of personal reminiscence, my own voice. There is a turning and returning of myth, history, and memoir throughout, a narrative wheel that is as sacred as language itself. from the new Preface Written with great dignity, the book has something about it of the timeless, of that long view down which the Kiowa look to their myth shrouded beginnings. New York Times I know nothing quite like this book, and nothing of the Indian that is at once so authentic and so moving. Wallace Stegner

Ancient Child

In his first novel since the Pulitzer Prize winning House Made of Dawn, N. Scott Momaday shapes the ancient Kiowa myth of a boy who turned into a bear into a timeless American classic. The Ancient Child juxtaposes Indian lore and Wild West legend into a hypnotic, often lyrical contemporary novel the story of Locke Setman, known as Set, a Native American raised far from the reservation by his adoptive father. Set feels a strange aching in his soul and, returning to tribal lands for the funeral of his grandmother, is drawn irresistibly to the fabled bear boy. When he meets Grey, a beautiful young medicine woman with a visionary gift, his world is turned upside down. Here is a magical saga of one man’s tormented search for his identity a quintessential American novel, and a great one.

In the Bear’s House

You are the dark shape I find On nights of the spilling moon, Pale in the pool of heaven. You are spirit, you are thatWhich summons me and confirms My passage. You know my name…
from ‘Revenant’N. Scott Momaday’s unique connection to the beauty and spirituality of the natural world surfaces in all of his works, from his Pulitzer Prize winning novel House Made of Dawn to his more recent collection In the Presence of the Sun. Yet In the Bear’s House is Momaday’s intensely personal quest to understand the spirit of the wilderness embodied in the animal image of Bear. Intimately linked to Bear since his childhood, Momaday searches for this elusive yet omnipresent spirit who is both the keeper and the manifestation of the wild mountains, rivers, and plains. Exploring themes of anguish, forgiveness, and belief, Momaday journeys from the bitter Siberian taiga to the blackening night sky to deep within his own timeless essence, and reveals Bear to be both a radiant presence and spiritual restorative. In the first section, Momaday uses dialogues between the original Bear, Urset, and his creator, Yahweh, to probe the troubling consolation of language, the wonder of prayer, and the grace of storytelling. The bold, finely wrought language of the poems and passages collected here evoke the despair, bewilderment, and valor of the hunted Bear as well as the ultimate redemption and fulfillment to be found in the ritual of death. The provocative original paintings throughout In the Bear’s House powerfully enhance our interpretation of Bear by suggesting his many incarnations. Through both word and image, Momaday brings us deep into his vision of Bear’s house and further distinguishes himself as one of the most luminous visionaries of our time.

In the Presence of the Sun

In the Presence of the Sun presents 30 years of selected works by N. Scott Momaday, the well known Southwest Native American novelist. His unadorned poetry, which recounts fables and rituals of the Kiowa nation, conveys the deep sense of place of the Native American oral tradition. Here are dream songs about animals bear, bison, terrapin and life away from urban alienation, an imagined re creation based on Billy the Kid, prose poems about Plains Shields and a fascinating discussion of their background, and new poems that utilize primary colors ‘forms of the earth’ to express instinctive continuities of a pre Columbian vision.’ Library Journal’The strong, spare beauty of In the Presence of the Sun is compelling evidence that Scott Momaday is one of the most versatile and distinguished artists in America today.’ Peter Matthiessen’…
the images, the voices, the people are shadowy, elusive, burning with invention, like flames against a dark sky. For behind them is always the artist author himself…
a man with a sacred investiture. Strong medicine, strong art indeed.’ The New York Times Book Review

The Man Made of Words

In The Man Made of Words Momaday chronicles his own pilgrimage as an author, retelling, through thirty eight essays, allegorical stories, and autobiographical reminiscences, how he became one of the first recognized Native American writers of this century. By exploring such themes as land, language, and self identity, The Man Made of Words fashions a definition of American literature as it has never been interpreted before.

Three Plays

Long a leading figure in American literature, N. Scott Momaday is perhaps best known for his Pulitzer Prize winning House Made of Dawn and his celebration of his Kiowa ancestry, The Way to Rainy Mountain. Momaday has also made his mark in theater through two plays and a screenplay. Published here for the first time, they display his signature talent for interweaving oral and literary traditions.

The Indolent Boys recounts the 1891 tragedy of runaways from the Kiowa Boarding School who froze to death while trying to return to their families. The play explores the consequences, for Indian students and their white teachers, of the federal program to ‘kill the Indian and save the Man.’ A joyous counterpoint to this tragedy, Children of the Sun is a short children’s play that explains the people’s relationship to the sun. The Moon in Two Windows, a screenplay set in the early 1900s, centers on the children of defeated Indian tribes, who are forced into assimilation at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where the U.S. government established the first off reservation boarding school.

Belonging with the best of Momaday’s classic writing, these plays are works of a mature craftsman that preserve the mythic and cultural tradition of unique tribal communities in the face of an increasingly homogeneous society.

Circle of Wonder

Book and audio tape package Pulitzer Prize winning author N. Scott Momaday’s Circle of Wonder is the story of one lonely child s experience of a special magic at Christmas. Tolo is drawn to a miraculous fire circle, where the Elk, the Wolf, and the Eagle share the real gift of the fire with him. Momaday leads us on a journey of spiritual awakening, a journey we share with a lonely youngster named Tolo. The illustrations are evocative both in their richness of color and in their simplicity of image. As Native and Christian traditions merge, we experience the moment of Christmas and of a spirit that transcends time. Native Peoples Magazine Circle of Wonder centers upon a world that is so dear to me as to be engraved on my memory forever. I was a boy of twelve when my parents and I moved to Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico in 1946. It was a place of singular beauty and wonder and delight. My first Christmas there was beyond my imagining. The night sky was radiant; the silence was vast and serene. In all the years of my life I have not gone farther into the universe. I have not known better the essence of peace and the sense of eternity. I have come no closer to the understanding of the most holy. N. Scott Momaday

Four Arrows & Magpie

Through the eyes of two Kiowa children, young readers will learn the beauty and danger of a world almost forgotten. The mythic legend of how the Kiowa Indians first arrived in Oklahoma will awaken children to the richness of the state’s Indian heritage. Illustrated with sketches almost poetic in their simplicity and paintings that echo the power and precision of his prose, this book reminds us all how deeply the past and the present are intertwined.

The Names

Of all of the works of N. Scott Momaday, The Names may be the most personal. A memoir of his boyhood in Oklahoma and the Southwest, it is also described by Momaday as ‘an act of the imagination. When I turn my mind to my early life, it is the imaginative part of it that comes first and irresistibly into reach, and of that part I take hold.’ Complete with family photos, The Names is a book that will captivate readers who wish to experience the Native American way of life.

Ancestral Voice

‘Momaday is a profoundly deep thinker and this book shows the depth of his thought while in the process of writing and painting…
It is must reading for anyone who wants to understand not just Scott Momaday but what it means to be a mature, reflective, responsible human being.’ Vine Deloria, Jr., New Mexico ‘Historical Review’. ‘For Momaday fans, the book is a don’t miss; for those who are unacquainted with his work, it offers a provocative look at the roots of Native American art and the anatomy of the creative process.’ ‘Southwest Art’. ”Ancestral Voice‘ is both an important record of Momaday’s chief concerns at the present time and a stimulating en counter with one of the most important writers of our time.’ ‘Northeast Indian Quarterly.’ ‘No critic however fortified metacritically who writes hereafter on Momaday can get away with ignoring this book.’ ‘American Literature’. Charles L. Woodard is a professor of English at South Dakota State University.

Conversations with N. Scott Momaday

When his first novel House Made of Dawn was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1969, N. Scott Momaday was virtually unknown. Today he is the most acclaimed Native American writer, working at the peak of his creative power and gaining stature also as an important painter. His first retrospective was held in 1993 at the Wheel wright Museum in Santa Fe. The son of a Kiowa artist and a Cherokee Anglo mother, Momaday synthesizes multiple cultural influences in his writing and painting. While much of his attention focuses on the difficult task of reconciling ancient traditions with modern reality, his work itself is an example of how the best of the Indian and non Indian worlds can be arranged into a startling mosaic of seemingly contradictory cultural and artistic elements. Momaday sees his writings as one long, continuous story, a working out of his evolving identity as a modern Kiowa. It is a story grounded in the oral tradition of his ancestors and told in the modes of the traditional storyteller and the modern novelist poet who is steeped in the best writings of American and European literature. The interviews in this volume span the period from 1970 to 1993. Momaday responds candidly to questions relating to his multicultural background, his views on the place of the Indian in American literature and society, his concern for conservation and an American land ethic, his theory of language and the imagination, the influences on his artistic and academic development, and his comments on specific works he has written. The reader who joins these conversations will meet in N. Scott Momaday a careful listener and an engaging, often humorous speaker whose commentaries provide a deeper vision for those interested in his life and work. Matthias Schubnell is a professor of English at the University of the Incarnate Word.

Sacred Legacy

One hundred years ago, Edward Sheriff Curtis began a thirty year odyssey to photograph and document the lives and traditions of the Native peoples of North America. This monumental project was hailed by The New York Herald as ‘the most gigantic undertaking since the making of the King James edition of the Bible.’ In this landmark volume, almost 200 of the finest examples of Cu rt is’s photographs are reproduced with startling fidelity to his original prints. Produced to the very highest standards, Sacred Legacy presents Curtis’s work without compromise for the first time in the modern era. Taken together, these profound images constitute no less than the core and essence of his life’s work. Until now, virtually none of Curtis’s photographs have been reproduced in a manner that captures the clarity and richness of his original master prints. In Sacred Legacy, his greatest images are reproduced from the finest source materials available a significant number from breathtaking platinum, gold, and silver prints. All have been carefully selected for pub lication and for an accompanying international exhibition by Curtis authority Christopher Cardozo. In an effort to bring a new understanding to Curtis’s monumental work, Sacred Legacy was developed according to the organizing principles set forth by the great photographer himself. Following the path la id out in his 20 volume magnum opus, The North American Indian, geographic regions are presented separately and individual tribes within each region are depicted and described. Interspersed between these sections are compelling portrayals of those aspects of life common to all tribes, among them spirituality. ceremony, arts, and the activities of daily life. With The North American Indian, Curtis achieved the impossible: an extraordinary 20 volume set of handmade books composed of nearly 4,000 pages of text and 2,200 images presenting more than 80 of North America’s Native nations. Luminous, iconic, and profoundly revealing, the pictures that form the heart of the original project are reproduced here in Sacred Legacy. These extraordinary photographs had an immense impact on the national imagination and continue to shape the way we see Native life and culture. Sacred Legacy is a fitting testament to the profound beauty, meaning, and complexity of Indian life and to Edward S. Curtis a man whose wisdom, passion, and strength drove him to devote thirty years to capturing the nobility and pride of the Native peoples of North America. The photographs in this brilliant volume represent the most important presentation of Curtis’s work since the publication of the first volume of Me North American Indian nearly a century ago.

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