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He has discovered that his father was Navajo, and so as he runs he sings "House Made of Dawn," a Navajo prayer song, acknowledging the paternal side of his cultural identity.
James Welch's Winter in the Blood also treats the theme of a lost soul finding his place in his family and tribe.
Having lost his job in Los Angeles, Abel returns home, and the novel ends on a positive note with his reintegration into his mother's tribe.
When his maternal grandfather dies, Abel buries him in the prescribed Walatowan fashion, then runs in the ritual race for good hunting and harvests that his grandfather had won decades before.
Gerry Nanabush, if not the protagonist of Love Medicine then certainly the most dramatic character, makes a specialty of escaping from prison.
The nameless hero of Winter in the Blood avoids jail and is less poor than broke, but he has little aim in life; he drifts from one bar to another, picking up women, getting beaten up.
This first generation of novels which have become the classics of the American Indian Literary Renaissance-- House Made of Dawn, Winter in the Blood, Ceremony, Love Medicine --generally present a bleak picture of life in Indian Country.
Although the authors treat their subjects with humor and compassion, and the reader gets a full sense of the characters' essential humanity, for the most part the protagonists are poor, shiftless, heavy-drinking drifters who are usually out of work and often in jail.
Momaday's House Made of Dawn, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1969, has been given the credit for inspiring the new generation of writers.The authors included in this movement include: Paula Gunn Allen; Barney Bush; Louise Erdrich; Joy Harjo; N.Scott Momaday; Duane Niatum; Nila north Sun; Simon J.The structure of Momaday's House Made of Dawn is based on Abel's quest to find his place in the tribal community in which he was raised, Walatowa Pueblo.That place is in question because, although his mother is a member of the tribe, Abel, as an illegitimate child, is an outsider; he does not know who his father is, or even what tribe his father belonged to. When he returns from World War II, he cannot adjust to tribal life.