N. Scott Momaday was a Native American author who wrote about Native Americans. His 1969 novel "House Made of Dawn" tells the story of Abel, a young man who grew up on a New Mexico reservation. Abel returns from the war to resume his life on the reservation but goes to prison after killing a man that he suspects of witchcraft. Upon Abel's release, he tries and fails to assimilate into white America.

The story jumps around in perspective and time, sometimes making it difficult to follow. But Momaday brings things together eventually.

Momaday is primarily known as a poet, which explains the beauty of his prose throughout this book. The following passage describes Abel's impression of the desert landscape:

"The clouds were always there, huge, sharply described, and shining in the pure air. But the great feature of the valley was its size. It was almost too great for the eye to hold, strangely beautiful and full of distance. Such vastness makes for illusion, a kind of illusion that comprehends reality, and where it exists there is always wonder and exhilaration. He looked at the facets of a boulder that lay balanced on the edge of the land, and the first thing beyond, the vague misty field out of which it stood, was the floor of the valley itself, pale and blue-green, miles away. He shifted the focus of his gaze, and he could just make out the clusters of dots that were cattle grazing along the river in the faraway plain."

"Dawn" was written when few mainstream novels were by or about Native Americans. It shed light on the alienation suffered by Indians in this country and broke down barriers for other native writers. Its Pulitzer Prize opened the door for other Indian writers to follow.

It portrays the struggle of a man trying to reconcile the two worlds in which he lives, fitting into neither. It describes the effects of PTSD. It highlights those struggling with mental health issues and how they cope. And it is a tale of self-destruction.