N. Scott Momaday
(Navarre Scott Momaday), 1934–, American writer whose works are reflective of his Kiowa culture, b. Lawton, Okla., B.A. Univ. of New Mexico, 1958, Ph.D. Stanford, 1963. The son of a Kiowa father and a Cherokee mother, both of whom were teachers, he began his career writing poetry but is best known for his celebrated first novel, House Made of Dawn
(1968, Pulitzer Prize), which uses many viewpoints and narrative techniques to explore the conflicts between Kiowa tradition and modern American life felt by a young Native American man returning home after serving in the army. His second novel, The Ancient Child
(1989), is based in part on the Kiowa story of a boy transformed into a bear. The Way to Rainy Mountain
(1969) combines Kiowa folk traditions with history and personal memories. Momaday's poetry, often on Native American themes, is collected Angle of Geese
(1974), The Gourd Dancer
(1976), Again the Far Morning
(2011), and other volumes. Other works include In the Presence of the Sun: Stories and Poems, 1961–1991
(1992), The Man Made of Words: Essays, Stories, Passages
(1997), and In the Bear's House
(1999). Momaday, who is also a playwright and painter, has taught at Stanford, the Univ. of California (Santa Barbara and Berkeley), and the Univ. of Arizona.
See his The Names: A Memoir (1976); M. Schubnell, ed., Conversations with N. Scott Momaday (1997); P. S. Morgan, N. Scott Momaday: Remembering Ancestors, Earth, and Traditions, An Annotated Bio-bibliography (2010); studies by M. Schubnell (1986), S. Scarberry-Garcia (1990), and N. Rao (2013); J. S. Momaday (his daughter), dir., Return to Rainy Mountain (documentary, 2017).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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