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Doc Sportello

(7,593 posts)
Tue Jan 30, 2024, 11:11 AM Jan 2024

N Scott Momaday, Pulitzer-winning Native American novelist, dies aged 89

N Scott Momaday, a Pulitzer prize-winning storyteller, poet, educator and folklorist whose debut novel House Made of Dawn is widely credited as the starting point for contemporary Native American literature, has died. He was 89. Momaday died on Wednesday at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, publisher HarperCollins announced. He had been in failing health.

He was born Navarre Scott Mammedaty, in Lawton, Oklahoma, and was a member of the Kiowa Tribe. His mother was a writer, and his father an artist who once told his son: “I have never known an Indian child who couldn’t draw,” a talent Momaday demonstrably shared. His artwork, from charcoal sketches to oil paintings, were included in his books and exhibited in museums in Arizona, New Mexico and North Dakota. Audio guides to tours of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of the American Indian featured Momaday’s avuncular baritone.

He saw writing as a way of bridging the present with the ancient past and summed up his quest in the poem If I Could Ascend:

Something like a leaf lies here within me; / it wavers almost not at all, / and there is no light to see it by / that it withers upon a black field. / If it could ascend the thousand years into my mouth, / I would make a word of it at last, / and I would speak it into the silence of the sun.


The Way to Rainy Mountain is one of my favorite books of all time. The PBS American Masters doc on him from 2019 is an excellent memorial to one of our greatest writers and a tremendous human being.
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N Scott Momaday, Pulitzer-winning Native American novelist, dies aged 89 (Original Post) Doc Sportello Jan 2024 OP
... 2naSalit Jan 2024 #1
Thanks for posting. Is there a link to the pbs doc? I've been fruitlessly searching. cbabe Jan 2024 #2
I haven't found one either Doc Sportello Jan 2024 #3

Doc Sportello

(7,593 posts)
3. I haven't found one either
Tue Jan 30, 2024, 05:04 PM
Jan 2024

And I also looked. Depending on your tv setup you may find it by going to the PBS app or icon on the channel guide. Though it may require signing up for PBS plus. Or your library may have it. A lot to go through but it is worth it. He goes back to his family home near Lawton OK, and describes in that glorious baritone of his about his family history and tribal culture.

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