James Welch was one of the central figures in twentieth-century American Indian literature, and The Heartsong of Charging Elk is of particular importance as the culminating novel in his canon. A historical novel, Heartsong follows a Lakota (Sioux) man at the end of the nineteenth century as he travels with Buffalo Bill's Wild West show; is left behind in Marseille, France; and then struggles to overcome many hardships, including a charge for murder. In this novel Welch conveys some of the lifeways and language of a traditional Sioux. Here for the first time is a literary companion to James Welch's Heartsong that includes an unpublished chapter of the first draft of the novel; selections from interviews with the author; a memoir by the author's widow, Lois Welch; and essays by leading scholars in the field on a wide range of topics. The rich resources presented here make this volume an essential addition to the study of James Welch and twentieth-century Native American literature.