Linda Hogan Analysis

Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Discuss American attitudes toward poverty as addressed in Linda Hogan’s works.

How is the American Indian oral tradition evident in Hogan’s works?

How does Hogan address the issue of genocide?

What is Hogan saying about threats to the natural world?

Compare Hogan’s exploration of the theme of identity in two works.

Compare Hogan’s treatment of transformation in two works.

Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

Linda Hogan has published critical and personal essays and has written or coauthored books on Native American life, culture, and literature, as well as the environment and ecofeminism. Her work has been reprinted in numerous anthologies and edited collections.


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Teaching and publishing represent major achievements for Linda Hogan, who has said that as a young girl she did not plan to attend college because, “I didn’t know what college was.” Yet by what Hogan might call a combination of love and defiance, she overcame the many oppressive conditions blocking those whom she characterizes as society’s less privileged. Hogan’s writing, deliberately aimed at readers who may lack a formal education in literary forms, often challenges accepted standards of literary taste.

Her achievement and potential have been formally recognized in her many awards: an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation (1986) for Seeing Through the Sun, a Minnesota State Arts Board grant, a Newberry Library D’Arcy McNickle Memorial Fellowship (1980), a Yaddo Colony Fellowship (1982), a National Endowment for the Arts fiction grant (1986), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1990), and a Lannan Literary Award for Poetry (1994). Her play A Piece of Moon (pr. 1981) received the 1980 Five Civilized Tribes Playwriting Award. Hogan’s novel Mean Spirit (1990) received the Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction and the Mountains (1991) and Plains Booksellers Award (1990) and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist (1991). The Book of Medicines received the Colorado Book Award and was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Allen, Paula Gunn. The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986. Allen discusses contemporary Native American women poets and novelists, including Linda Hogan, in a context of woman-centered tribal values.

Balassi, William, et al., eds. This Is About Vision: Interviews with Southwestern Writers. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1990.

Bell, Betty Louise, ed. Studies in American Indian Literature 6 (Fall, 1994). Special issue on Linda Hogan; provides multiple points of view on Hogan’s work.

Brice, Jennifer. “Earth as Mother, Earth as Other in Novels by Silko and Hogan.” Critique 39, no. 3 (1998): 127-138. Analyzes Hogan’s depiction of Native American attitudes toward and myths about the earth in Mean Spirit.

Bruchac, Joseph. Survival This Way: Interview with American Indian Poets. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1987.

Crawford, John, William Balassi, and Annie O. Eysturoy. This Is About Vision: Interviews with Southwestern Writers. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1990. Places Hogan in context with other Native American writers through parallel interviews with Joy Harjo, N. Scott Momaday, and Luci Tapahanso. Hogan’s interview, by Patricia...

(The entire section is 485 words.)