The Diné Reader: An Anthology of Navajo Literature
Editors: Esther G. Belin, Jeff Berglund, Connie A. Jacobs, and Anthony K. Webster
Publisher: University of Arizona Press (2021)
The Diné Reader: An Anthology of Navajo Literature is unprecedented. It showcases the breadth, depth, and diversity of Diné creative artists and their poetry, fiction, and nonfiction prose.This wide-ranging anthology brings together writers who offer perspectives that span generations and perspectives on life and Diné history. The collected works display a rich variety of and creativity in themes: home and history; contemporary concerns about identity, historical trauma, and loss of language; and economic and environmental inequalities.
The Diné Reader developed as a way to demonstrate both the power of Diné literary artistry and the persistence of the Navajo people. The volume opens with a foreword by poet Sherwin Bitsui, who offers insight into the importance of writing to the Navajo people. The editors then introduce the volume by detailing the literary history of the Diné people, establishing the context for the tremendous diversity of the works that follow, which includes free verse, sestinas, limericks, haiku, prose poems, creative nonfiction, mixed genres, and oral traditions reshaped into the written word.
This volume combines an array of literature with illuminating interviews, biographies, and photographs of the featured Diné writers and artists. A valuable resource to educators, literature enthusiasts, and beyond, this anthology is a much-needed showcase of Diné writers and their compelling work. The volume also includes a chronology of important dates in Diné history by Jennifer Nez Denetdale, as well as resources for teachers, students, and general readers by Michael Thompson. The Diné Reader is an exciting convergence of Navajo writers and artists with scholars and educators.