For too many people, Diné or not, Diné writing remains invisible within the greater literary landscape. The Diné Reader: An Anthology of Navajo Literature changes this. Its vibrant catalogue of literary works, including poems, short stories, and novel excerpts that are accompanied by author interviews, makes it an essential addition to university libraries and literary curricula.
Diné have always had a deep and intricate relationship with language. “Understood more fully, ‘Diné bizaad’ [the Navajo language] means ‘Diné their language, languages, voice, voices, word, words, etc.” It’s through the development of written stories, which “directly correlates to The People’s history with Western, formal versions of education,” that those outside of The People first became aware of this culture’s literary richness.
From unascribed poems composed in Indian boarding schools to Blackhorse Mitchell’s Miracle Hill to work by contemporary authors, the legacy of Diné writing is long and impressive. Suitable as an academic textbook, library reference, or lay primer, The Diné Reader reclaims Diné voices, giving them the showcase they deserve: as works of literary merit, worthy of scholarship and celebration.
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