Novelist and nonfiction writer David Treuer writes with an eye to the untold and his work brings to life stories and perspectives not yet heard.
In his debut novel Little (1996, Picador), the downtrodden population of a census-tract called Poverty have just buried a little boy. In 2006, Treuer, published Native American Fiction: A User’s Manual, (Graywolf Press) which urged readers and scholars to appreciate the merits of Native-written works critically as literature rather than from an ethnographic approach. His latest non-fiction work, Rez Life: An American Indian’s Journey Through the Land of His People (2012, Atlantic Monthly Press) dispels misconceptions and illuminates issues in contemporary Native life like sovereignty, treaty rights and natural-resource conservation.
With the support of a NACF Artist Fellowship in Literature, he will be able to continue his work on a period piece he calls a “rez noir,” entitled The Brothers Dostoevsky. It is the story of twin brothers, Big John and Little John Dostoevsky, Indians who work as enforcers and booze runners for a notorious mob boss named Kid Can. The work in progress is research intensive and explores a little known period in Native American history.
Treuer is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, the 1996 Minnesota Book Award, and he received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Bush Foundation.