Historical Context

(Novels for Students)

Bison on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation Published by Gale Cengage

Native Americans in 1960s and 1970s

Taking their cue from the civil rights and "black power" movements, Native...

(The entire section is 517 words.)

Literary Style

(Novels for Students)


The novel is structured around the metaphor of a journey, which represents the need to come home—to...

(The entire section is 579 words.)

Bibliography and Further Reading

(Novels for Students)


Jefferson, Margo, Review of Winter in the Blood, in Newsweek,...

(The entire section is 308 words.)


(Masterpieces of American Fiction)

Armstrong, Meg. “ Buried in Fine White Ash’: Violence and the Reimagination of Ceremonial Bodies in Winter in the Blood and Bearheart.The American Indian Quarterly 21 (Spring, 1997): 265-298. Armstrong explores the themes of power, transformation, and identity in James Welch’s Winter in the Blood and Gerald Vizenor’s Bearheart. She argues that the texts must be read with the understanding of ceremony and the body in order to wholly appreciate American Indian literature.

Ballard, Charles G. “The Theme of the Helping Hand in Winter in the Blood.MELUS 17 (Spring, 1991):...

(The entire section is 443 words.)

Compare and Contrast

(Novels for Students)

  • 1970s: The American Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut population numbers 827,000, which is 0.4 percent of the population of the United...

(The entire section is 252 words.)

Topics for Further Study

(Novels for Students)

  • What do you think is the cause of the narrator's alienation? Is his alienation mostly his own psychological problem, or are there wider...

(The entire section is 169 words.)

What Do I Read Next?

(Novels for Students)

  • Welch's Killing Custer: The Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Fate of the Plains Indians (1994) is his retelling of the story of...

(The entire section is 190 words.)