House Made of Dawn [50th Anniversary Ed]: A Novel

House Made of Dawn [50th Anniversary Ed]: A Novel

by N. Scott Momaday

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Overview

A special 50th anniversary edition of the magnificent Pulitzer Prize-winning classic from N. Scott Momaday, with a new preface by the author

A young Native American, Abel has come home from war to find himself caught between two worlds. The first is the world of his grandfather’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, and goading him into a destructive, compulsive cycle of depravity and disgust.

Beautifully rendered and deeply affecting, House Made of Dawn has moved and inspired readers and writers for the last fifty years. It remains, in the words of The Paris Review, “both a masterpiece about the universal human condition and a masterpiece of Native American literature.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062911063
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/18/2018
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 633
File size: 749 KB

About the Author

N. Scott Momaday was born in 1934 in Lawton, Oklahoma. A novelist, poet, playwright, teacher, painter, and storyteller, his accomplishments in literature, scholarship, and the arts have established him as an enduring American master. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Medal of Arts, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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House Made of Dawn 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wanted to read authentic Native American literature and Momaday came highly recommended. A slim book, but one to savor. The descriptions of the mesas and landscape are poetic, yet real. I felt as though I glimpsed something beautiful. I personally believe it is important for Americans to understand this culture and more importantly, to try to keep it living as much as possible. This is a book I will read again, and share with students.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book won the Pulitzer Prize for a reason. Though told in the native american tradition of non-linear storytelling, the patient reader is quickly rewarded with a stunning narrative of great beauty and powerful realism. I've read it several times over the years and it only gets better with each "retelling." Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel is a classic journey of separation, initiation, and return. The journey of Abel, an emotionally fragmented Jemez Pueblo Indian, follows in the footsteps of Gilgamesh, Ulysses, and King Lear. The cyclical telling of Abel's journey requires that the reader listen actively within the story. If you can do that you will find yourself on a wondrous, sometimes painful, life's journey alongside Abel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
N. Scott Momaday has written a powerful book that takes the reader into his circle of life. Abel tries so hard to lose his blood memory that he finds the journey excruciatingly painful. This book is full of metaphor and prose that paints a canvas with the bold strokes of a Pablo Pacasso. He shows the internal struggle of a man finding his own traditions. It contains the elements of an orally told, traditional story, frought with tricksters, healers, evil spirits, and comforts. All the while, taking the reader on his journey through the throes of alcoholism and hopelessness. Yet this is a book of hope, of wonder, and of healing. Told in a tradional NA syle, unless the reader is aware of NA genre, they will feel somewhat uncomfortable for the first reading, but if you allow yourself to see with your heart instead of your eyes, you will see the wonders within this tome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book may not be for everyone, but it is a beautifully written, thoughtful account of a man's coming home, to a land and culture as much as to a family.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Told imaginatively and compassionately. Must read for yourself to be able to appreciate fully.
Sean191 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the second book I've read written by Momaday. It's also the last I'll read. I just don't like his writing style. Towards the end of the book it took on a different style, less convoluted, less confusing, but it was too little too late.
MeditationesMartini on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There's a certain kind of Verfremdung or ostraenie or whatever that people tend to bust out when they're trying to give you a peek into the alien mind of the utter Other, the Other that is being presented as different in kind, whether it's the "literal" alien from outer space, or the exoticized racial alien, or what have you. You see it in comic books a lot, and science fiction. Some of its hallmarks appear to be:

-only using declarative sentences;

-lack of access to the subject's thoughts, or more usually, presentation of his thoughts in a profoundly estranging way;

-paying hyperattention to sensory and chemical responses on the part of the alien subject - all the lights are brighter, the wind cuts, the smells are strange, and the subject feels amorphous fear - whether it's the alien-in-the-familiar like a Predator popping up in New York, or the alien-in-the-alien - like in this book, with Abel the Kiowa out in the mesas - it's not whether it's alien to the subject that matters, but to the reader, and it makes him considerably less than a protagonist really.

So that offended me some at first and seemed a bit Uncle-Tommy on Momaday's part at first, to say nothing of annoying, and exactly the sort of pseudo-sympathetic book about natives that would have won a Pulitzer in 1969, but then I proceeded and there were delights! The amazing description of the hawks hunting and then doing a blood dance on the bodies of their prey, and the talk about us whiteys and how we're enervating, killing ourselves with words. Cool.

And finally you see Abel's story take shape in the words of others and the emotional hollowness left behind in his women and the strangeness left behind by his contact with others, and you can see it as psychodrama, or the dull sad downfall of a drunken Indian, or the translation to philistines, on the Pulitzer committee and beyond, of a great soul. The incredible multipage monologue that fills most of the last half of the book has an epic arc and inevitability, giving Abel his bard - "The Ballad of Abel the Hunter." And you realize the reason he doesn't get to be his own protagonist is because that would be cleaning up the crimes of history. We - whites, settlers - made him into this ludicrous creature. But Momaday rescues him, ennobles him, and in the powerful final passage, frees him to assume his centrality, lets Abel hunt. And he is magnificent.

debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Abel returns to the reservationafter serving in World War II,but has trouble adapting tohis life there. Very depressing.I was most amazed with the waythis author brought me into hisworld through the use of sensorydetails.
curls_99 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn provides an interesting look into the struggles Native Americans who come from reservations to find identity. He follows the life of a young man named Abel who has returned to his reservation in New Mexico after fighting in World War II. He has been deeply affected by the war and struggles to hold a job and maintain relationships. Abel moves to California to try to find himself but eventually realizes that he will only find himself back home on the reservation. Momaday based his story on his life experiences as a Native American and on the real experiences of other Native Americans. I found the book a bit difficult to follow and was not surprised to discover after reading that it was originally intended to be a collection of poems. There were times that the story felt a bit disjointed for me. I do think that he provides an interesting perspective on real issues for the Native American community and would be interested to hear how Native Americans read it today.
isomdm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
No plot just random thoughts of a drunken indian.
YAbookfest on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
House Made of Dawn was a landmark book when written in 1966, offering insight into the experiences of Native Americans in the mid-20th century. It is the story of Abel, who grows up in a tiny village on the Kiowa reservation in the southwest, where life is ruled by ancient traditions and the natural rhythms of the land. When he enters the military during World War II, this natural order is shattered and Abel struggles to find himself, no longer at ease at home but unable to function in the modern, Anglo world. The writing style and structure of the novel is unusual. Some of the events in the novel are based on Momaday¿s personal experiences and actual incidents that took place in Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico. It frequently draws on traditional Native American storytelling and myth, with themes of death and rebirth. The detailed, poetic, sensory descriptions of the land draw the reader into the Native American experience of harmony with nature. In that sense, it is very much like the opening of Steinbeck¿s The Pearl. Reportedly, it began as a series of poems, grew into a series of short stories, and was finally shaped into a novel, a process that results in a somewhat fragmented structure. This combination of techniques can pose challenges for the reader.Momaday was the first Native American to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize when House Made of Dawn won the honor in 1969. The book would certainly be considered a foundation piece for any Native American studies program and would add a unique perspective to a course on modern American fiction.
ijustgetbored on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A book I will never, ever understand.
Terpsichoreus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Momaday's now-famous book has more social and political importance than literary. Like the genre it ushered in, it may have been positive for the writer in general, but often relied upon a cliche racist/anti-racist dichotomy played through vague and often meaningless metaphor.The author's busy mind has made a complex work, but not one with any central point or in-depth exploration. The 1970s New Age movement was a combination of many different world philosophies, attempting to find some common ground for humanity that might soften the Hegemonic West. Unfortunately, without a rhetorical basis, this movement provided us with mere watered-down generalism.It is now a popular personal philosophy because it is so vague that it can be used to support any concept and ideal. Momaday falls into this same trap with his erratic and varied text, which started out as a poetic series.This all ended in Momaday's premature Pulitzer, and he's sat steadfastly on that laurel ever since, and given us no more reason to presume he deserved it. The prize committee was clearly interested in following civil rights with a politically correct investment in 'diversity'. The only problem is that Momaday's work is as fundamentally colonized as Kipling's.His presentation of 'native' themes and storytelling methods is a fairly thin veil over what is not as much a Native American novel as just an American novel. The Native culture Momaday represented was already overwritten by the dominant western culture.Though Momaday tried to inject some cultural understanding and 'oral traditions' into his book, in the end it is little more than a descendant of Faulkner's. Not a badly written one, but neither is it focused enough to represent some cultural 'changing of the guard'.
Casey Surma More than 1 year ago
“The House Made of Dawn,” by N. Scott Momaday is a compelling coming of age tale that I thought was an excellent piece of Native American literature. Although the way the book was written may be a little confusing to some including me, there is a reason for that. The story is about a man named Abel who has Navajo heritage who just comes back home from a tour of duty in World War 2. He does not come back to the reservation the same though, as he is plagued with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and also has turned into an alcoholic. While Abel does not come back at all the same person that he was prior to going overseas to serve, he also has struggles with his identity, and his place in the world. He has difficulties balancing the traditional world of his people and the modern world which following the war has left him scarred and lost. This book does a great job of showing what life is like for the Native American war vet after they get home. They have been the largest demographic to enlist in wars for the United States based on their population size. The book just gives you a good idea as to what its like for Native Americans to fight for a country that will not fight for them in return. It also captures Abel’s longing for a rebirth, and all of the destructive decisions along the way that keep him from achieving his goal of fitting in in society. It is important to keep in mind the perspective that is being told in this book as all of the chapters are told in a different time period with flashbacks that can confuse you if you do not keep them all in order. The most important thing to remember though is that this book is used as a way to show how many Native people are shown as out of place in modern society, and important theme to note especially in the second half of the book. His relationship with women is also a common theme and coping mechanism he uses along with alcoholism for his PTSD. Overall this book may be a little hard to understand at times, but it is a great thought provoking read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is rife with detailed descriptions that paint a rich picture of a scene, but they bury the story. The author sets a scene then follows up more that don't seem to support the story. The story jumps from one character to another with little transition to help the reader see a relationship between the characters or at least to provide a trail for the reader to follow to get into the story. I rarely put a book down unfinished, but after 73 pages, I'm moving on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hate writing reviews on nook. Press back accidentally and poof its gone. This is my third attempt. House made of dawn is often beautiful in its language, yet is terribly difficult to follow. I do not recommend this book. Though there are some very beautiful scenes in here, and deeply felt emotion by the characters, it pains me to say the overall experience is hardly worth the trouble of unraveling its weeded plot.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
House Made of Dawn House Made OF Dawn, a romantic Native American piece composed of the mystical Indian culture and the personal tragedies that concurred with that culture's demise at the hands of the white man. Momaday plots House Made of Dawn on a series of flashbacks. Francesco lives half in the present and half in the past until his old age when he begins to live almost exclusively in the past. Momaday introduces characters such as Abel, Benally, Tosomah and Father Olguin, who all have one foot in the past and one in the future. The novels plot underlines the theme of the presence of the past in people's everyday lives. That past pushes them through their present lives and pulls them each to the values of wholeness and unity between people and their land. Momaday establishes a powerful topic, but the book is very hard to follow. Momaday moves through time fully and the reader is, constantly lost as to where they are at in the novel. Momaday also introduces characters without actually introducing them to reader and in contrast we don't know what they share in relation to the supporting characters in the novel. The vocabulary is very basic to understand, but the overall readability is chaotic. Momaday constantly switches ideas with nothing more than a paragraph break, from myths to dreams and the present and the past and adds unknown character's that he has picked up on of not where. In the beginning there is not prelude to the novel until you reach the last chapter. The first part of the novel you can experience the spirituality of the characters, and the second part fills you in with all the blanks in the beginning of the novel. This was very aggravating, because as a reader you back track to see what information you missed but when you go back and reread you realized that you didn't miss anything and that Momaday just hasn't wrote it. Momday does tie up all the loose ends up I don't agree with how he constructed it. As an educated reader I would not recommend this book. If you are like me and hate to reread and not being told what's going on you will hate this book. I'm not sure how the novel won the Pulitzer Price? It must have been an under developed year of writing. By: Josh Sturgill
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pads in gently and sleeps.