Monday, November 9, 2015

Why I chose this novel and what background information about the author is important

I chose this novel because we read an excerpt from her novel The Beet Queen at the beginning of the semester. This book was recommended by a fellow AP teacher as a very interesting read. I have always liked reading Sherman Alexie's work and I liked the excerpt from The Beet Queen, so I figured I would give this novel a try first.

Fast Facts about Louise Erdrich

  • A poet and novelist of Chippewa and German descent, Erdrich has become one of the most important authors writing Native American fiction in the late twentieth century.
  • "Louise Erdrich was born in Little Falls, Minnesota, across the Red River from Wahpeton, North Dakota, the small town that later served as a model for Erdrich's fictional town of Argus. Her father, Ralph Erdrich, was a German immigrant; her mother, Rita Journeau Erdrich, was a three-quarters Chippewa. Both her parents were employed by the Wahpeton Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school. Louise grew up in Wahpeton, the oldest of seven children, and was exposed to the cultures of both her parents. Maintaining a close bond with her German Roman Catholic grandmother, she was also on familiar ground with her extended Chippewa family on the Turtle Mountain reservation. Her maternal grandfather was a tribal chairman there, and the North Dakota plains reservation eventually became the setting for much of Erdrich's fiction." "Biography" Native Americans: A Comprehensive History Ed. Harvey Markowitz., Inc. 9 Nov, 2015 
  • When asked if she had any superstitions, she responded: "I rarely step on sidewalk cracks. I don’t wear a watch. I touch my favorite tree before going on long trips. I say I love you as often as I can (to form a protective shield in fantasy). I write first drafts by hand. Never do I open an umbrella inside the house. I don’t predict wins or losses. I used to stand on a certain piece of rug if my brothers and husband were watching football and their team got in trouble—but now the luck went out of that rug. If a circle is involved, I try to go clockwise. If a line is involved, I try to go zigzag. I never toast with water." Charney, Noah. “The Daily Beast.” The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast, n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2015.
"Using seven narrators from three families, "Love Medicine" is a collective history of the speakers' interwoven loves and hates, tangled passions and dreams, overlapping longing and grief. Through lyrical language, vivid characterizations and freshly minted images, the narrative masterfully sustains the illusion of oral stories. Although several are told by an omniscient narrator, most unfold through the distinctive voices of the characters themselves." “Louise Erdrich Revisits The Complex World Of The Chippewa.” tribunedigital-chicagotribune. N.p., 1993. Web. 9 Nov. 2015.
    "The bookstore is called Birchbark Books. It is a little gem of a place, I think, put together with love and care. Once it was a dentist's office. My daughters and I passed the place and often fantasized about what a great bookstore it would make. Now here it is—a nonprofit independent bookstore. (Most independents are nonprofit anyway these days.) My daughters helped with the renovation and now work there on weekends. I have a great manager, Ray Burns, and we sell all sorts of Native art and jewelry as well as books. The store has its own confessional, which I found at a salvage warehouse. At last I can sit in the priest's box. I do most of the book-buying, and as a consequence I read a lot more contemporary fiction than I used to. In the last couple of weeks my favorite books have been Interpreter of Maladies, In America, Off Keck Road, Hummingbird House, The Name of the World, Lying Awake, and The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier & Clay. I like to review them for customers, local people. We sell a great deal of Sherman Alexie, Linda Hogan, and a wealth of Native children's books. Our specialty is Native Americana." “Online Interviews With Louise Erdrich.” Online Interviews with Louise Erdrich. Web. 9 Nov. 2015. 

1 comment:

  1. Seven narrators from three different families? How are you going to keep up?! I guess I shouldn't comment much on that thought, because I read a book at one point where it was four different people going back and forth telling their view. Hope you can keep them straight and enjoy the read.