The Way to Rainy Mountain

Front Cover
UNM Press, 1969 - Biography & Autobiography - 88 pages
53 Reviews

First published in paperback by UNM Press in 1976,The Way to Rainy Mountainhas sold over 200,000 copies.

"The paperback edition ofThe Way to Rainy Mountainwas first published twenty-five years ago. One should not be surprised, I suppose, that it has remained vital, and immediate, for that is the nature of story. And this is particularly true of the oral tradition, which exists in a dimension of timelessness. I was first told these stories by my father when I was a child. I do not know how long they had existed before I heard them. They seem to proceed from a place of origin as old as the earth.

"The stories inThe Way to Rainy Mountainare told in three voices. The first voice is the voice of my father, the ancestral voice, and the voice of the Kiowa oral tradition. The second is the voice of historical commentary. And the third is that of personal reminiscence, my own voice. There is a turning and returning of myth, history, and memoir throughout, a narrative wheel that is as sacred as language itself."--from the new Preface


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A fascinating blend of myth, prose, and poetry. - Goodreads
Startlingly fresh in his approach to storytelling. - Goodreads
Beautiful illustrations by his father, Al Momaday. - Goodreads
November 2004 Book Club Selection - Goodreads

Review: The Way to Rainy Mountain

User Review  - Thomas Simard - Goodreads

A wonderful experience - the images both from his prose and his father's drawings will stay with me. A book to be slowly savored. Read full review

Review: The Way to Rainy Mountain

User Review  - Lindsay - Goodreads

This collection of mythology, legends, and history of the Kiowa Indians was interesting, unique, and unusual. I've never read anything like this, so I don't have a great frame of reference to compare ... Read full review

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About the author (1969)

A member of the Kiowa tribe, Momaday was born in Oklahoma but grew up on reservations in the Southwest. He was educated at the University of New Mexico and Stanford University, and later taught at Berkeley, Stanford, and the University of Arizona. Momaday lives two lives as a professor of English and Comparative Literature and as a Kiowa tribal dancer and recorder of the Native American experience in this country. "None but an Indian, I think," he has said, "knows so much what it is like to have existence in two worlds and security in neither." This is a theme that runs through his fiction and nonfiction, including his Pulitzer prize winning first novel, House Made of Dawn (1968). Yet, as a Native American and a writer, Momaday finds two sources of identity the land and the language. The former gives strength to the American Indian, whose sense of identification comes from a closeness to the land. The latter connects humankind to ourselves and our world. "Man's idea of himself" finds "old and essential being in language," Momaday has written. Acts of naming, of remembering these are "legendary as well as historical, personal as well as cultural.

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