Cover image for In the bear's house
In the bear's house
Momaday, N. Scott, 1934-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
96 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3563.O47 I46 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In his first collection of poems and paintings in over a decade, the celebrated pioneer of modern Native American literature examines the one animal that has both inspired and haunted him. 40 paintings.

Author Notes

Navarre Scott Momaday was born on February 27, 1934 in Lawton, Okla. to Kiowa parents who successfully bridged the gap between Native American and white ways, but remained true to their heritage. Momaday attended the University of New Mexico and earned an M.A and a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1963. A member of the Gourd Dance Society of the Kiowa Tribe, Momaday has received a plethora of writing accolades, including the Academy of American Poets prize for The Bear and the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for House Made of Dawn. He also shared the Western Heritage Award with David Muench in 1974 for the nonfiction book Colorado: Summer/Fall/Winter/Spring, and he is the author of the film adaptation of Frank Water's novel, The Man Who Killed the Deer. His work, The Names is composed of tribal tales, boyhood memories, and family histories. Another book, The Way to Rainy Mountain, melds myth, history, and personal recollection into a Kiowa tribe narrative. Throughout his writings, Momaday celebrate his Kiowa Native American heritage in structure, theme, and subject matter, often dealing with the man-nature relationship as a central theme and sustaining the Indian oral tradition.

(Bowker Author Biography) N. Scott Momaday is Professor of English, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.


Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Like the attractive In the Presence of the Sun (1992), Momaday's new collection combines artwork, verse, and prose. It is more focused than the previous book because it has a central character, Bear, who, Momaday says, is an expression of "the spirit of wilderness." It begins with eight philosophical dialogues between Urset, the original bear, and Yahweh; continues with poems about various kinds of bears and encounters with Bear; and concludes with two prose "Passages" recounting, with mythic resonance, a young man's first bear hunt and the Kiowa story of a boy and his sisters who were transformed into a bear and the seven stars of Ursa Major, respectively. The whole book is stronger than any of its parts, and it radiates metaphysical wisdom, especially in the simply worded, witty dialogues, and an aura of mysterious beauty, very memorably in the prose poem in which Momaday encounters Bear on the Moscow subway. That beauty finds visual expression of great force and charm in Momaday's art, which resembles Zen painting in its spontaneous, self-confident draftsmanship. --Ray Olson