Narratives of Turning in
Native American Fiction
N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Louise Erdrich
What most threatens the American Indian is the theft of the
sacred…. This is a subtle holocaust, and it is ongoing.
—N. Scott Momaday
While the religious dimension of contemporary Euro-American fiction is often overlooked, this is hardly the case when it comes to Native American literature. Here, on the contrary, spiritual preoccupations are taken for granted and even expected, so that a Native American writer who may not at first seem to share them for instance, the novelist James Welch is in danger of marginalization in the literary market. It is possible to ascribe this expectation to the emphatic registration of religious elements in the work of eminent Native American novelists such as N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Louise Erdrich. Certainly we find, in their fiction, some of the most powerful accounts of postsecular struggle