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Adrian C. Louis (April 24, 1946 – September 9, 2018)[1] was an American author. Hailing from Nevada, Louis was a member of Lovelock Paiute tribe who lived on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He has taught at Oglala Lakota College.

His novel Skins (1995) discusses reservation life and issues such as poverty, alcoholism, and social problems and was the basis for the 2002 film, Skins. He also published books of poetry and a collection of short stories, Wild Indians and Other Creatures (1996). His work was noted for its realism.

He died on September 9, 2018.[1]



Born in northern Nevada in 1946, Louis was the eldest of twelve children. Of mixed heritage, Louis was of Lovelock Paiute descent. He moved from Nevada to South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation and graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor's and MA in Creative Writing. Louis was also a former journalist and along with being editor of four tribal newspapers, he was the managing editor of Indian Country Today and a co-founder of the Native American Journalists Association.

Louis has ten published books of poetry and two novels. His poetry and fiction have garnered him much recognition and awards. His work has been praised by some of the other notable modern Native American writers, including Sherman Alexie, N. Scott Momaday, James Welch and Leslie Marmon Silko. In 1999, he was added to the Nevada Writer's Hall of Fame.[2]

In 2001 he was awarded the Writer of the Year by Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers and the Cohen Award for best published poem in Ploughshares. He is also the recipient of the Pushcart Prize as well as fellowships from the Bush Foundation, the South Dakota Arts Council, the Nebraska Arts Council, the National Endowment of the Arts and the Lila Wallace–Reader's Digest Foundation.

Louis taught English at Pine Ridge's Oglala Lakota College from 1984–1997; from 1999–2014, he taught in the Minnesota State University systems.[3]



  • The Indian Cheap Wine Seance (1974)
  • Muted War Drums (1977)
  • Sweets for the Dancing Bears (1979)
  • Fire Water World (1989)
  • Among the Dog Eaters (1992)
  • Blood Thirsty Savages] (1994, Time Being Books)
  • Days of Obsidian, Days of Grace (1994)
  • Vortex of Indian Fevers (1995)
  • Ceremonies of the Damned (1997)
  • Skull Dance (1998)
  • Ancient Acid Flashes Back (2000)
  • Bones & Juice (2001)
  • Evil Corn (2004)
  • Deer Dreams (2006)
  • Logorrhea (2006)
  • Savage Sunsets (2012)
  • Random Exorcisms (2016)
  • The Bible of Adrian (2017)
  • Electric Snakes (2018)


  • Skins (1995)
  • Wild Indians & Other Creatures (1996)


  • Skins (2002) - screenplay


  1. ^ a b Adrian C. Louis
  2. ^ "Nevada Writers Hall of Fame: Adrian Louis". University of Nevada, Reno. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  3. ^
  • Kratzert, M. "Native American Literature: Expanding the Canon", Collection Building Vol. 17, 1, 1998, p. 4

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