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House Made of Dawn (P.S.) by N. Scott Momaday

1 rating: -3.0
A book

"Authentic and powerful. Almost unbearably authentic and powerful...unlike any writing I have ever read...Anyone who picks up this novel and reads the first paragraph will be hard pressed to put it down" -- C leveland Plain Dealer "Superb." … see full wiki

Author: N. Scott Momaday
Genre: Literature, American Literature
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reprint edition (April 13, 2010)
Date Published: 1968
1 review about House Made of Dawn (P.S.) by N. Scott Momaday

A Story of a Native American Son Lost in the Past

  • May 19, 2012
I always find it interesting that authors who write such opaque prose are lauded as great writers. Isn't the point of great writing to make it easier for the reader to live in the world the author creates?

Momaday seems to be another one of those writers in that vein, being praised for evocative stories that are frankly not very interesting or fun to read. His writing style is not stylish but turgid and maudlin.

Here Momaday tells the story of Abel, a young Native American going from a life on an Indian Reservation off to war, and then back to the alien world of America. He struggles with the past, both the near past and the distant pass of his lost ancestral home, which appears to be the point of the story. We see Abel disintegrate as he struggles with his past and the lost past of his ancestors.

The novel is certainly sad and evocative of a lost world. But those who bemoan an age that no longer exists are doomed to live in an unreality, as is the case for Abel.

This novel mostly was boring with a few flashes of insight. And some ways I almost found it to be propaganda with a point lost in a convoluted prose, jumping from one time frame to another with little warning to the reader. Great writing? Well to some I obviously so since it won a Pulitzer Prize, but I wouldn't recommend it.

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