The Info List - Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich
(born Karen Louise Erdrich, June 7, 1954)[1] is an American author, writer of novels, poetry, and children's books featuring Native American characters and settings. She is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa
Indians, a band of the Anishinaabe
(also known as Ojibwe
and Chippewa).[2] Erdrich is widely acclaimed as one of the most significant writers of the second wave of the Native American Renaissance. In 2009, her novel The Plague of Doves
The Plague of Doves
was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and also received an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.[3] In November 2012, she received the National Book Award for Fiction for her novel The Round House.[4] She was awarded the Library of Congress
Library of Congress
Prize for American Fiction at the National Book Festival in September, 2015.[5] She was married to author Michael Dorris and the two collaborated on a number of works. She is also the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore in Minneapolis
that focuses on Native American literature and the Native community in the Twin Cities.[6]


1 Early and personal life 2 Work 3 Birchbark Books 4 Awards 5 Works

5.1 Novels

5.1.1 Birchbark House series 5.1.2 Love Medicine
Love Medicine
Series 5.1.3 Justice Trilogy 5.1.4 Standalone novels

5.2 Story collections 5.3 Children's literature 5.4 Poetry 5.5 Non-fiction 5.6 As editor or contributor 5.7 Interviews 5.8 Essays

6 See also 7 Further reading

7.1 Essay collections 7.2 Monographs 7.3 Teaching guides

8 References 9 External links

Early and personal life[edit] Erdrich was born on June 7, 1954, in Little Falls, Minnesota. She was the oldest of seven children born to Ralph Erdrich, a German-American, and Rita (née Gourneau), a Chippewa
Indian (of half Ojibwe
and half French blood). Both parents taught at a boarding school in Wahpeton, North Dakota, set up by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Erdrich's maternal grandfather, Patrick Gourneau, served as tribal chairman for the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians
for many years.[7] While Erdrich was a child, her father paid her a nickel for every story she wrote. Her sister Heidi is a poet who also lives in Minnesota and publishes under the name Heid E. Erdrich.[8] Another sister, Lise Erdrich, has written children's books and collections of fiction and essays. Erdrich attended Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College
from 1972 to 1976.[9] She was a part of the first class of women admitted to the college and earned an A.B. in English. During her freshman year, Erdrich met her future husband and collaborator, Michael Dorris, an anthropologist, writer, and then-director of the new Native American Studies program. While attending Dorris’ class, she began to look into her own ancestry, which birthed her inspiration for her literary work, such as poems, short stories, and novels. In 1978, Erdrich enrolled in a Master of Arts program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Nearly a year later, she had earned the Master of Arts in the Writing Seminars in 1979.[10] Erdrich later published some of the poems and stories she wrote while in the M.A. program, and she later returned to Dartmouth as a writer-in-residence.[10] Erdrich remained in contact with Dorris. He attended one of her poetry readings, became impressed with her work, and then developed an interest in working with Erdrich. Although Erdrich and Dorris were on two different sides of the world, Erdrich in Boston and Dorris in New Zealand for field research, the two began to collaborate on short stories. One short story that involved this collaborative work, "The World’s Greatest Fisherman", won $5,000 in the Nelson Algren fiction competition.[10] Erdrich and Dorris then expanded the story into the novel Love Medicine
Love Medicine
(1984), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Around the same time as their collaborative success, Dorris left New Zealand, and upon returning, Erdrich and Dorris' literary partnership led them to a romantic relationship. They married in 1981, and raised three adopted children and three biological children until their separation in 1995 and Dorris' suicide in 1997. Following Dorris' suicide, Erdrich released The Antelope Wife (1998). During the publication of Love Medicine, Erdrich produced her first collection of poems, Jacklight
(1984), which highlights the struggles between Native and non-Native cultures as well as commemorates and celebrates family, ties of kinship, autobiographical meditations, monologues, and love poetry, and incorporates an influence of Ojibwe myths and legends.[10] Erdrich continued to write poems, which have been included in her collections. However, although her poetry is well known, Erdrich remains best known as a novelist, having written a dozen award-winning and best-selling novels.[10] Although many of Erdrich’s works are influenced by her Native American heritage, her novel The Master Butchers Singing Club
The Master Butchers Singing Club
(2003) also included a focus on the European side of her ancestry. The novel includes stories of a World War I
World War I
veteran that took place in a small North Dakota town. The novel went on to become a finalist for the National Book Award. In addition to fiction and poetry, Erdrich has published non-fiction. The Blue Jay’s Dance (1995) includes the timeline of her pregnancy and birth of her first child, and Books and Islands in Ojibwe
Country traces her travels in northern Minnesota and Ontario's lakes following the birth of her last daughter.[11] She returned to Dartmouth in 2009 to receive an honorary Doctorate of Letters and to deliver the commencement address.[12] Erdrich and her two sisters have hosted writers' workshops on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in North Dakota.[13] When asked in an interview if writing is a lonely life for her Erdrich replied, "Strangely, I think it is. I am surrounded by an abundance of family and friends and yet I am alone with the writing. And that is perfect." Erdrich currently lives in Minnesota.[12] Work[edit] Her heritage from both parents is influential in her life and prominent in her work.[14] In 1979 she wrote "The World's Greatest Fisherman", a short story about June Kashpaw, a divorced Ojibwe
woman whose death by hypothermia brought her relatives home to a fictional North Dakota reservation for her funeral. It won the Nelson Algren Short Fiction prize and eventually became the first chapter of her debut novel, Love Medicine, published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston in 1984.[12] Love Medicine
Love Medicine
won the 1984 National Book Critics Circle Award.[15] It has also been featured on the National Advanced Placement Test for Literature.[16] Erdrich followed Love Medicine
Love Medicine
with The Beet Queen (1986), which continued her technique of using multiple narrators and expanded the fictional reservation universe of Love Medicine
Love Medicine
to include the nearby town of Argus, North Dakota. The action of the novel takes place mostly before World War II. Leslie Marmon Silko accused Erdrich's The Beet Queen
The Beet Queen
of being more concerned with postmodern technique than with the political struggles of Native peoples.[17] Tracks (1988) goes back to the early 20th century at the formation of the reservation and introduces the trickster figure of Nanapush, who owes a clear debt to Nanabozho.[18] Tracks shows early clashes between traditional ways and the Roman Catholic Church. The Bingo Palace (1994), set in the 1980s, describes the effects of a casino and a factory on the reservation community. Tales of Burning Love (1997) finishes the story of Sister Leopolda, a recurring character from all the previous books, and introduces a new set of white people into the reservation universe. The Antelope Wife
The Antelope Wife
(1998), Erdrich's first novel after her divorce from Dorris, was the first of her novels to be set outside the continuity of the previous books.[19] She subsequently returned to the reservation and nearby towns, and has published five novels since 1998 dealing with events in that fictional area. Among these are The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse (2001) and The Master Butchers Singing Club (2003), a macabre mystery that again draws on Erdrich's Native American and German-American heritage. Both novels have geographic and character connections with The Beet Queen. In 2009, Erdrich's novel The Plague of Doves
The Plague of Doves
was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. The narrative focuses on the historical lynching of four Native people wrongly accused of murdering a Caucasian family, and the effect of this injustice on the current generations. Erdrich's complexly interwoven series of novels have drawn comparisons with William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha novels. Like Faulkner's, Erdrich's successive novels created multiple narratives in the same fictional area and combined the tapestry of local history with current themes and modern consciousness.[20] Birchbark Books[edit] The bookstore hosts literary readings and other events, including the release of each of Erdrich's new works as well as the works and careers of other writers, particularly local Native writers. Erdrich and her staff consider Birchbark Books to be a “teaching bookstore”.[21] In addition to books, the store sells Native art and traditional medicines, and Native American jewelry. A small nonprofit publisher founded by Erdrich and her sister, Wiigwaas Press, is affiliated with the store.[21] Awards[edit]

1983 Pushcart Prize in Poetry 1984 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, for Love Medicine[15] 1985 Guggenheim Fellowship in Creative Arts[22] 1987 O. Henry Award, for the short story "Fleur" (published in Esquire, August 1986)[23] 1999 World Fantasy Award, for The Antelope Wife[24] 2000 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas[25] 2005 Associate Poet
Laureate of North Dakota 2006 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, for the children's book "The Game of Silence"[26] 2007 Honorary Doctorate from the University of North Dakota; refused by Erdrich because of her opposition to the university's North Dakota Fighting Sioux mascot[27] 2009 Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Letters) from Dartmouth College[28][29] 2009 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement[30] 2009 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, for Plague of Doves[31] 2012 National Book Award for Fiction for The Round House[32][33] 2013 Rough Rider Award 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award[34] 2014 PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction[35] 2015 Library of Congress
Library of Congress
Prize for American Fiction[5] 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, for LaRose

Works[edit] Novels[edit] Birchbark House series[edit]

The Birchbark House (1999) The Game of Silence (2005) The Porcupine Year (2008) Chickadee (2012) Makoons (2016) ISBN 9780060577940, OCLC 918994316

Love Medicine
Love Medicine

Love Medicine
Love Medicine
(1984) ISBN 9780062206312, OCLC 883426444 The Beet Queen
The Beet Queen
(1986) ISBN 9780060835279, OCLC 1001815788 Tracks (1988) The Bingo Palace
The Bingo Palace
(1994) Tales of Burning Love (1997) ISBN 9780061767999, OCLC 813286547 The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse (2001) ISBN 9780061577628, OCLC 652408048 Four Souls (2004) The Painted Drum (2005)

Justice Trilogy[edit]

The Plague of Doves
The Plague of Doves
(Harper, 2008) ISBN 9780062277732, OCLC 910337023 The Round House (2012) LaRose (2016)

Standalone novels[edit]

The Crown of Columbus [coauthored with Michael Dorris] (1991) The Antelope Wife
The Antelope Wife
(1998) The Master Butchers Singing Club
The Master Butchers Singing Club
(2003) ISBN 9780060837051, OCLC 1016695053 Shadow Tag (Harper, 2010) Future Home of the Living God (2017)

Story collections[edit]

The Red Convertible: Collected and New Stories 1978-2008 (2009)

Children's literature[edit]

Grandmother's Pigeon (1996) The Birchbark House (1999) The Range Eternal (2002) The Game of Silence (2005) The Porcupine Year (2008) Chickadee (2012) Makoons (2016)


(1984) Baptism of Desire (1989) Original Fire: Selected and New Poems (2003)


Route Two [coauthored with Michael Dorris] (1990) The Blue Jay's Dance: A Birthyear (1995) ISBN 9780061767975, OCLC 419850833 Books and Islands in Ojibwe
Country (2003)

As editor or contributor[edit]

The Broken Cord by Michael Dorris (Foreword) (1989) The Best American Short Stories 1993 (Editor, with Katrina Kenison) (1993) Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology (Contributing poet, edited by Melissa Tuckey) (University of Georgia Press, 2018)


Conversations with Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich
and Michael Dorris, ed. Allan Chavkin and Nancy Feyl Chavkin (Mississippi UP, 1994) Louise Erdrich, The Art of Fiction No. 208 Interview with Louise Erdrich by Lisa Halliday in The Paris Review


Two Languages in Mind, But Just One in the Heart (2000)

See also[edit]

List of writers from peoples indigenous to the Americas

Literature portal Native American culture portal

Further reading[edit] Essay collections[edit]

Chavkin , Allan (Editor) (1999). The Chippewa
Landscape of Louise Erdrich. Birmingham: Alabama University Press. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) Hafen, Jane (2012). Louise Erdrich: Critical Insights. Ipswich, MA: Salem Press.  Madsen, Deborah L. (Editor) (2011). Louise Erdrich. London: Continuum. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)


Kurup, Seema (2015). Understanding Louise Erdrich. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.  Washburn, Frances (2013). Tracks on a Page: Louise Erdrich, Her Life and Works. Santa Barbara: Praeger.  Stirrup, David (2012). Louise Erdrich. Manchester: Manchester U.  Beidler, Peter & Barton, Gay (2006). A Reader's Guide to the Novels of Louise Erdrich. Columbia: Missouri University Press. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) Jacobs, Connie A. (2001). The Novels of Louise Erdrich: Stories of Her People. Peter Lang. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) * Stookey, Lorena L. (1999). Louise Erdrich: A Critical Companion. Westport: Greenwood. 

Teaching guides[edit]

Sarris, Greg (Editor) & Jacobs, Connie A. & Giles, James Richard (2004). Approaches To Teaching The Works Of Louise Erdrich. MLA. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)


^ Stookey, Lorena Laura (1999-01-01). Louise Erdrich: A Critical Companion. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 1–. ISBN 9780313306129. Retrieved 7 November 2013.  ^ "Louise Erdrich : Voices From the Gaps : University of Minnesota". Voices.cla.umn.edu. Retrieved 2013-10-23.  ^ The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards - Winners by Year ^ Leslie Kaufman (November 14, 2012). "Novel About Racial Injustice Wins National Book Award". New York Times. Retrieved November 15, 2012.  ^ a b Alexandra Alter (March 17, 2015). " Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich
Wins Library of Congress Award". New York Times. Retrieved March 18, 2015.  ^ "Birchbark Books & Native Arts Minneapolis, MN Welcome!". Birchbarkbooks.com. Retrieved 2013-10-23.  ^ Gates, Jr., Professor Henry Louis (Host) (2010). "Louise Erdrich". Faces of America. PBS. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ "Heid E. Erdrich". HeidErdrich.com.  ^ h"Louise Erdrich". Poetry Foundation.  ^ a b c d e "Louise Erdrich". Poetry Foundation. 2010.  Missing or empty url= (help); access-date= requires url= (help) ^ Department of English (2001). About Louise Erdrich. University of Illinois.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ a b c Halliday, Lisa (Winter 2010). "Louise Erdrich, The Art of Fiction". Paris Review (208).  ^ "The Three Graces". Minneapolis
Star Tribune. February 4, 2008. Retrieved September 23, 2010.  ^ [1] ^ a b "Louise Erdrich: About the Author: HarperCollins Publishers". Harpercollins.com. 2010-03-24. Retrieved 2013-10-23.  ^ "AP Literature: Titles from Free Response Questions since 1971". Mseffie.com. 2013-05-13. Archived from the original on 2014-11-30. Retrieved 2013-10-23.  ^ Susan Castillo "Postmodernism, Native American Literature, and the Real: The Silko-Erdrich Controversy" in Notes from the Periphery: Marginality in North American Literature and Culture New York: Peter Lang, 1995. 179-190. ^ There are many studies of the trickster figure in Erdrich's novels: A recent study that makes the connection between Nanabozho
and Nanpush is "The Trickster
and World Maintenance: An Anishinaabe
Reading of Louise Erdrich's Tracks" by Lawrence W. Gross [2] ^ Lorena Laura Stookey, Louise Erdrich: A Critical Companion, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 ISBN 0-313-30612-5, ISBN 978-0-313-30612-9 ^ See, e.g., Powell's Books (book review), Christian Science Monitor, August 2, 2004 ^ a b "Our Story Birchbark Books & Native Arts Minneapolis, MN". Birchbarkbooks.com. Retrieved 2013-10-23.  ^ " Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation". Gf.org. Archived from the original on 2014-08-19. Retrieved 2013-10-23.  ^ "Bold Type: O. Henry Award Winners 1919-2000". Randomhouse.com. Retrieved 2013-10-23.  ^ World Fantasy Convention (2010). "Award Winners and Nominees". Archived from the original on 2010-12-01. Retrieved 4 Feb 2011.  ^ "Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas". Hanksville.org. Retrieved 2013-10-23.  ^ [3] Archived April 13, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Author Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich
rejects UND honor over 'Sioux' nickname Minnesota Public Radio News". Minnesota.publicradio.org. 2007-04-20. Retrieved 2013-10-23.  ^ "Dartmouth 2009 Honorary Degree Recipient Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich
'76 (Doctor of Letters)". Dartmouth.edu. 2010-06-07. Retrieved 2013-10-23.  ^ "Native American author Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich
'76 to give Dartmouth's 2009 Commencement address Sunday, June 14". Dartmouth.edu. 2010-06-07. Retrieved 2013-10-23.  ^ "Kenyon Review for Literary Achievement". KenyonReview.org.  ^ "Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards The Plague of Doves". Anisfield-wolf.org. Retrieved 2013-10-23.  ^ "Louise Erdrich, The Round House - National Book Award Fiction Winner, The National Book Foundation". Nationalbook.org. 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2013-10-23.  ^ "Dartmouth Alumna Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich
'76 Wins National Book Award Dartmouth Now". Now.dartmouth.edu. 2012-11-15. Archived from the original on 2014-08-19. Retrieved 2013-10-23.  ^ Lisa Cornwell (August 17, 2014). "writer louise erdrich wins ohio peace prize". TwinCities.com. Associated Press. Retrieved August 18, 2014.  ^ Hillel Italie (September 9, 2014). "erdrich wins lifetime achievement literary prize". Nashoba Publishing. Associated Press. Retrieved September 11, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Erdrich, Louise. "Louise Erdrich's Birchbark Blog". Birchbark Blog.  Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich
at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database "Louise Erdrich". Library of Congress
Library of Congress
Authorities.  35 catalog records Works by or about Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich
in libraries ( WorldCat

v t e

National Book Award for Fiction (2000–2024)

In America by Susan Sontag
Susan Sontag
(2000) The Corrections
The Corrections
by Jonathan Franzen
Jonathan Franzen
(2001) Three Junes by Julia Glass
Julia Glass
(2002) The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard
Shirley Hazzard
(2003) The News from Paraguay by Lily Tuck (2004) Europe Central
Europe Central
by William T. Vollmann
William T. Vollmann
(2005) The Echo Maker
The Echo Maker
by Richard Powers (2006) Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson (2007) Shadow Country
Shadow Country
by Peter Matthiessen
Peter Matthiessen
(2008) Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
Colum McCann
(2009) Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon
Jaimy Gordon
(2010) Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Jesmyn Ward
(2011) The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich
(2012) The Good Lord Bird
The Good Lord Bird
by James McBride (2013) Redeployment by Phil Klay
Phil Klay
(2014) Fortune Smiles
Fortune Smiles
by Adam Johnson (2015) The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Colson Whitehead
(2016) Sing, Unburied, Sing
Sing, Unburied, Sing
by Jesmyn Ward
Jesmyn Ward

Complete list (1950–1974) (1975–1999) (2000–2024)

v t e

World Fantasy Award—Novel


The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip
Patricia A. McKillip
(1975) Bid Time Return
Bid Time Return
by Richard Matheson
Richard Matheson
(1976) Doctor Rat by William Kotzwinkle (1977) Our Lady of Darkness
Our Lady of Darkness
by Fritz Leiber
Fritz Leiber
(1978) Gloriana by Michael Moorcock
Michael Moorcock
(1979) Watchtower by Elizabeth A. Lynn (1980) The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe (1981) Little, Big
Little, Big
by John Crowley
John Crowley
(1982) Nifft the Lean by Michael Shea (1983) The Dragon Waiting
The Dragon Waiting
by John M. Ford
John M. Ford
(1984) Mythago Wood
Mythago Wood
by Robert Holdstock
Robert Holdstock
(1985, tie) Bridge of Birds
Bridge of Birds
by Barry Hughart (1985, tie) Song of Kali
Song of Kali
by Dan Simmons (1986) Perfume by Patrick Suskind (1987) Replay by Ken Grimwood
Ken Grimwood
(1988) Koko by Peter Straub
Peter Straub
(1989) Lyonesse: Madouc by Jack Vance
Jack Vance
(1990) Only Begotten Daughter by James K. Morrow
James K. Morrow
(1991, tie) Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner
Ellen Kushner
(1991, tie) Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon (1992, tie) Last Call by Tim Powers
Tim Powers
(1993) Glimpses by Lewis Shiner (1994) Towing Jehovah by James K. Morrow
James K. Morrow
(1995) The Prestige
The Prestige
by Christopher Priest (1996) Godmother Night by Rachel Pollack (1997) The Physiognomy by Jeffrey Ford
Jeffrey Ford
(1998) The Antelope Wife
The Antelope Wife
by Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich
(1999) Thraxas by Martin Scott (2000)


Declare by Tim Powers
Tim Powers
(2001, tie) Galveston by Sean Stewart (2001, tie) The Other Wind
The Other Wind
by Ursula K. Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin
(2002) The Facts of Life by Graham Joyce
Graham Joyce
(2003, tie) Ombria in Shadow by Patricia A. McKillip
Patricia A. McKillip
(2003, tie) Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton
Jo Walton
(2004) Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Susanna Clarke
(2005) Kafka on the Shore
Kafka on the Shore
by Haruki Murakami
Haruki Murakami
(2006) Soldier of Sidon
Soldier of Sidon
by Gene Wolfe (2007) Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay
Guy Gavriel Kay
(2008) The Shadow Year by Jeffrey Ford
Jeffrey Ford
(2009, tie) Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan (2009, tie) The City & the City by China Miéville
China Miéville
(2010) Who Fears Death
Who Fears Death
by Nnedi Okorafor
Nnedi Okorafor
(2011) Osama by Lavie Tidhar
Lavie Tidhar
(2012) Alif the Unseen
Alif the Unseen
by G. Willow Wilson
G. Willow Wilson
(2013) A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar (2014) The Bone Clocks
The Bone Clocks
by David Mitchell (2015)

Authority control

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