House Made of Dawn Criticism

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House Made of Dawn did not receive much attention from the mainstream press when it was first published. For one thing, Momaday was relatively unknown in literary circles. Another obstacle was the fact that it had been written by a member of a distinct social minority, and reviewers felt uncomfortable addressing its artistry because they did not want their criticism to seem like criticism of Native American culture: as William James Smith asserted in his review in Commonweal, "it seems slightly unAmerican to criticize an American Indian's novel."

Other critics found fault with the writing but suggested that the narrative problems might be necessary in order to capture the Native American mindset. Marshall Sprague, in The New York Times Book Review, thought that the "haze" that surrounds the telling of the story might be a natural byproduct of rendering "the mysteries of a culture different than our own...

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This section contains 558 words
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