Books That Made a Difference

James Welch (1940-  )

Fools Crow


  • Born in 1940 in Browning, Montana.
  • Attended school on the Blackfeet and Ft, Belknap reservations and Northern Montana State University at Havre.  Earned his B.A. from the University of Montana, Missoula.


  • Taught as visiting professor at University of Washington and Cornell University.
  • Received an American Book Award in 1986; received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and Pacific Booksellers Association Book award in 1987 for Fools Crow.

Major Writings

Riding the Earthboy Forty: Poems 1971
Winter in the Blood (1974)
The Death of Jim Loney
Fools Crow (1986)
The Indian Lawyer (1990)
Killing Custer: The Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Fate of the Plains Indians (1994)

Critical Sources and Reviews

  • Biographical and critical information in multiple volumes of the following Gale publications: Contemporary Literary Criticism, including CLC 6, 1976; 14, 1980; 52, 1989; and Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 175: Native American Writers of the United States, Gale, 1997.  Gale publications can be accessed online through a subscribing library at
  • Other printed resources include:

    Bruchac, Joseph, Survival This Way: Interviews with American Indian Poets, 311-21.
    Coltelli, Laura, Winged Words: American Indian Writers Speak, 185-97.
    Larson, Charles, R., American Indian Fiction, 140-49.
    McFarland, Ron, ed., James Welch, 1986.
    Milton, John R., The Contemporary Literary Scene 1973, 82-6.
    Velie, Alan R., Four American Indian Literary Masters, 66-103.
    Wild, Peter, James Welch, 1983.

  • Some reviews of Native Son:
    • New York Times Book Review, November 2, 1986 (New York Times Books Archive)
    • Los Angeles Times Book Review, December 14, 1986
    • Chicago Tribune Books, December 21, 1986
    • Washington Post Book World, January 25, 1987
    • Western American Literature, May 1987, 53-57.

Retired Discussion Series

Debbie Sturman, Director
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