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A Native American Renaissance: 1967 to the Present

What has been called the "Native American Renaissance" in writing is generally dated from the end of the 1960s with the publication of N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn (1968) and its subsequent Pulitzer Prize. Considering the importance and the effects of Momaday's success, there is certainly some justification for choosing Momaday's novel as the beginning of the modern period in American Indian writing. However, it might also be argued that the real beginnings of that so-called Renaissance are much earlier. Further, it might better be called a continuum than a renaissance since the issues have remained much the same for Indians and Indian writers not just over the last two decades, but for the last two centuries. The publication of Momaday's novel and its critical recognition only served to bring the concerns of the Native American into sharper focus and to open wider the curtain of that stage where the work of Indian writers could be seen.