This study of the Native American in the western, romance, detective, horror, and science fiction genres examines how even historically accurate representations distort and bias the Native American figure to fit European-based traditions and modern agendas. The authors provide critical approaches for evaluating the literature. They argue that while popular fiction conventions determine and limit authentic portraits of Native American cultures, successful popular fiction writers approach literary quality by fusing authentic Native American culture with the standard genre conventions. Approximately 200 books are discussed and evaluated, and true Native American stories and writings are contrasted with mainstream versions of Indian culture.
While the exploitation of Native Americans has long been recognized, little has been written about the manipulation of Native American figures in recent popular fiction. This study will appeal to students of Native American culture, literature, and popular culture. An appendix of special terms is provided along with a comprehensive bibliography.