Author Paula Gunn Allen dies at 68

June 7, 2008 at 2:08 PM

FORT BRAGG, Calif., June 7 (UPI) -- Breakthrough Native American author, feminist and top scholar Paula Gunn Allen died of lung cancer at her California home at the age of 68.

The one-time University of California-Los Angeles professor paved the way mainstream Native American authors when she began her career in the 1960s, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

"What I want from readers is a fundamental recognition that American Indian culture is alive and thriving," she is quoted as saying in a 1990 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article.

Allen, who was raised in Cubero, N.M., died May 29 in Fort Bragg, Calif., after authoring 17 books in 30 years, which included a novel, short stories, poetry, literary criticism and academic works.

The 1983 publication of Allen's "Studies on American Indian Literature, Critical Essays and Course Designs" marked a major stepping stone for Native American literature.

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