“Laughing Boy”

October 1, 2009 at 8:20 am | Posted in Fiction | 1 Comment

Laughing Boy, by Oliver La Farge, won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1930.  It’s the story of a Navajo boy and his first romance.

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The story is incidental to its purpose as an introduction to Navajo life.  It manages to glorify the lifestyle while also, from a 21st century perspective, make it somehow condescending and “noble savage.”  It’s a good quick read and not as dated as it might be.

Laughing Boy has met my expectations for the early Pulitzers so far:  annoying ethnic stereotypes combined with a sweet taste of a vanished, more innocent world.  For some reason, there also seems to be a strong theme of marital infidelity in most of these novels!

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  1. I have to wonder when the “annoying ethnic stereotypes” disappeared from the winners…


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