Though mystery, crime, and detective fiction are some of the most popular genres in the world, little scholarship currently exists regarding Native American writers and how they add new dimensions to this widely read literary form. Rather, the majority of scholarship examines the depiction of Native characters from the perspective of non-Native authors. Native American Mystery Writing: Indigenous Investigations analyzes how Native authors use the genre to foreground centuries of settler-colonial crimes and comment upon the ways in which these acts continue to impact Native individuals and communities today. Considering fourteen novels and two made-for-TV films, this book surveys a spectrum of settler-colonial crimes: the Osage oil murders, sexual assault against Native women, missing and murdered Indigenous women, the California mission system, suppression of spiritual beliefs, theft--of land, children, and cultural items--and, of course, murder. Examination of these texts shows how Native authors working with the mystery, crime, and detective fiction formats are able to entertain readers while also sending strong social, cultural, and political messages that argue for strengthened tribal sovereignty and illustrate the resilience of Indigenous peoples--all in order to promote discussions about creating a more just system for Native Nations.
About the Author
Mary Stoecklein is adjunct instructor of writing at Pima Community College.