Information about the author.
The first book in Louise Erdrich’s Native American series, which also includes The Beet Queen, Tracks, and The Bingo Palace, Love Medicine tells the story of two families—the Kashpaws and the Lamartines. Now resequenced by the author with the addition of never-before-published chapters, this is a publishing event equivalent to the presentation of a new and definitive text. Written in Erdrich’s uniquely poetic, powerful style, Love Medicine springs to raging life: a multigenerational portrait of new truths and secrets whose time has come, of strong men and women caught in an unforgettable drama of anger, desire, and the healing power that is Love Medicine. Discover the writer whom Philp Roth called “the most interesting new American novelist to have appeared in years” all over again.
Omakayas and her family live on the land her people call the Island of the Golden-breasted Woodpecker. Although the chimookoman (white people) claim more and more of their land, life continues much as it always has. Every summer they build a new birchbark house; every fall they go to ricing camp to harvest and feast; they move to the cedar log house before the first snows arrive, and celebrate the end of the long winter at maple sugaring camp. Then, one winter night, the satisfying rhythms of their life are shattered when a visitor comes to their lodge, bringing with him an invisible enemy that will change things forever.
Twin brothers Chickadee and Makoons have spent every day side by side and have done everything together since they were born—until the day the unthinkable happens and the brothers are separated.
Desperate to reunite, Chickadee and his family must travel across new territories, forge unlikely friendships, and experience both unexpected moments of unbearable heartache as well as pure happiness. And through it all, Chickadee has the strength of his namesake, the chickadee, to carry him on.
I am only the Chickadee
Yet small things have great power
I speak the truth.
Launching a new arc in the celebrated Birchbark House series, Chickadee continues the story of one Ojibwe family’s journey through one hundred years in America.
One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe’s life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.
While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only…[more]
Her name is Omakayas, or Little Frog, because her first step was a hop, and she lives on an island in Lake Superior. It is 1850, and the lives of the Ojibwe have returned to a familiar rhythm: they build their birchbark houses in the summer, go to the ricing camps in the fall to harvest and feast, and move to their cozy cedar log cabins near the town of LaPointe before the first snows.
The satisfying routines of Omakayas's days are interrupted by a surprise visit from a group of desperate and mysterious people. From them, she learns that all their lives may drastically change. The chimookomanag, or white people, want Omakayas and her people to leave their island in Lake Superior and move farther west. Omakayas realizes that something so valuable, so important that she never knew she had it in the first place, is in danger: Her home. Her way of life.
In this captivating sequel to National Book Award nominee The Birchbark House, Louise Erdrich continues the story of Omakayas and her family.
The Antelope Wife is a novel of connections in which history, lust, contemporary urban Native American life, hand-me-down names, and legends, as well as sacred myth, combine. Set in Minneapolis, originally an important trading center and hunting ground, still a magnet for many native people from nearby reservations, the story goes back in time.
The novel begins with a soldier, who deserts the cavalry during a cruel raid on an Ojibwa village to chase a dog bearing on its back a baby on a cradle board strung with breathtaking blue beads. Generations later, a fast-talking trader kidnaps a silent and graceful woman from a powwow. In a haunting re-creation of a native tale, the woman is part antelope. Hunter and hunted change identities. The Antelope Wife changes people. Nothing is ever the same again for friends and family.
Louise Erdrich’s mesmerizing new novel, her first in almost three years, centers on a compelling mystery. The unsolved murder of a farm family haunts the small, white, off-reservation town of Pluto, North Dakota. The vengeance exacted for this crime and the subsequent distortions of truth transform the lives of Ojibwe living on the nearby reservation and shape the passions of both communities for the next generation. The descendants of Ojibwe and white intermarry, their lives intertwine; only the youngest generation, of mixed blood, remains unaware of the role the past continues to play in their lives.
Evelina Harp is a witty, ambitious young girl, part Ojibwe, part white, who is prone to falling hopelessly in love. Mooshum, Evelina’s grandfather, is a seductive storyteller, a repository of family and tribal history with an all-too-intimate knowledge of the violent past. Nobody understands the weight of historical injustice better than Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, a thoughtful…[more]
For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved people, the Ojibwe, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Compelled to his task by a direct mystical experience, Father Damien has made enormous sacrifices, and experienced the joys of commitment as well as deep suffering. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery of his physical identity, for he is a woman who has lived as a man. He imagines the undoing of all that he has accomplished—sees unions unsundered, baptisms nullified, those who confessed to him once again unforgiven. To complicate his fears, his quiet life changes when a troubled colleague comes to the reservation to investigate the life of the perplexing, difficult, possibly false saint Sister Leopolda. Father Damien alone knows the strange truth of Sister Leopolda’s piety, but these facts are bound up in his own secret. In relating his history and that of Leopolda, whose wonder working is documented but inspired, he believes, by a capacity…[more]
From the award-winning author of Love Medicine comes a tale of abandonment and sexual obsession, jealousy and unstinting love.
On a spring morning in 1932, young Karl and Mary Adare arrive by boxcar in Argus, North Dakota. Orphaned in a most peculiar way, Karl and Mary look for refuge to their mother’s sister Fritzie, who with her husband, Pete, run a butcher shop. So begins an exhilerating 40-year saga brimming with unforgettable characters: Ordinary Mary, who causes a miracle ; seductive Karl, who lacks Mary’s gift for survival; Sita, their disturbed, ambitious cousin; Wallace Pfef, a town leader bearing a lonely secret; Celestine James, a mixed-blood Chippewa and her daughter, Dot. Theirs is a story grounded in the tenacity of relationships, the magic of natural events and the unending mystery of the human condition.