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Scott Momaday

Profile: Scott Momaday
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction


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"I sometimes think the contemporary white American is more culturally deprived than the Indian."

The American literary world offers no greater award than the Pulitzer Prize. In 1969 the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to House Made of Dawn, a first novel from an unknown author. This was unusual enough; even more surprisingly, to some observers, the winner was a Kiowa Indian who had grown up largely in the reservations and pueblos of the Southwest, far from supposed centers of learning and letters.

As a whole world of readers and critics were soon to learn, there are no limits to N. Scott Momaday's talents or his vision. As novelist, scholar, painter, printmaker and -- above all -- poet, Momaday's work has encompassed a panorama as wide as the western landscapes he celebrates. In Momaday's work and career, we see an extraordinary fusion of modern Anglo-American literary methods and classical prosody, with Native American traditions of poetry and story-telling.

Through his novels, poems, plays, books of folk tales and memoirs, essays and speeches, he has won international respect, not only for himself, but for the Native traditions that inform his work. At the same time, he has helped to reacquaint the modern world with an ancient understanding of the intimate connection between humankind and the natural world.

N. Scott Momaday is featured in the award-winning documentary film Remembered Earth: New Mexico's High Desert.


This page last revised on Apr 27, 2007 16:12 EST