The Chippewa Landscape of Louise Erdrich

The Chippewa Landscape of Louise Erdrich

The Chippewa Landscape of Louise Erdrich

The Chippewa Landscape of Louise Erdrich

Synopsis

This collection of essays focuses on Erdrich's writings rooted in the Chippewa experience. It considers narrative structure, signs of ethnicity, the notions of luck and chance, her use of metaphors, and her use of comedy.

Excerpt

Allan Chavkin

Often viewed as an outstanding practitioner of modern fiction, Louise Erdrich should be regarded as one of the country's most important writers. Her first novel, Love Medicine (1984, 1993), a collection of interconnected stories focusing on the lives of two Chippewa families, won several prizes, including the National Book Critics Circle Award. The Beet Queen (1986), Tracks (1988), The Bingo Palace (1994), and Tales of Burning Love (1996) also received critical acclaim and together with Love Medicine form an interlocking epic novel. With her husband Michael Dorris, Erdrich collaborated on the best-selling The Crown of Columbus (1991), which focuses on the theme of discovery. Erdrich also published two highly regarded volumes of poetry, Jacklight (1984) and Baptism of Desire (1989), and numerous stories in such periodicals as the New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, and Paris Review. Her book The Blue Jay's Dance: a Birth Year (1995) is a work of nonfiction consisting primarily of autobiographical recollections and meditations on nature and motherhood.

Although Erdrich has demonstrated her remarkable skill in several genres, it is for her fiction, especially her novels about the Chippewa, that she is renowned. Her brilliant, complex prose style and her unique vision are responsible for her immense critical and popular acclaim. in her novels she typically interweaves stories told by diverse narrators and chronicles different generations of Euro-American and American Indian characters. Her individualistic prose style includes the juxtaposition of the . . .

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