America Re-Imagined, in Retrospect: Fifty Notable American Novels about the “West”: 24-26.

ACADEME BLOG

Huffaker, Clair.  Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian.  New York: McKay, 1967.

When Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian was published in 1967, Huffaker had already established himself as a novelist and screenwriter who could remain fundamentally true to the Western formula while cleverly manipulating some of its elements to give each story a winning combination of familiarity and freshness.  In Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian, he attempted something quite different: a contemporary rendering of the frontier tall tale that, in context, would come across as farcical rather than mythic.  Such a story would, in effect, provide a satiric perspective on the Western mythos—in particular, on the treatment of the Native Americans and of the natural environment.

The novel was a success, and Huffaker wrote the screenplay for its film adaptation, which starred Anthony Quinn.  But it is telling that the title of the film was changed to Flap. …

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