This book has been written with the narrow conviction that if Native American literature is worth thinking about at all, it is worth thinking about as literature. The vast majority of thought that has been poured out onto Native American literature has puddled, for the most part, on how the texts are positioned in relation to history or culture.
In these thought-provoking essays David Treuer does nothing less than argue for an entirely new approach to reading, understanding, and enjoying Native American fiction. Rather than create a comprehensive cultural and historical geneaology for Native American literature, Treuer investigates a selection of the most important Native American novels and, with a novelist's eye and a critic's mind, examines the intricate process of understanding literature on it's own terms.
Native American Fiction: A User's Manual is speculative, witty, engaging and written for the inquisitive reader. These essays—on Erdrich, Silko, Welch, Cooper, Alexie and Carter—are rallying cries for the need to read literature as literature and, ultimately, reassert the importance and primacy of the word.