September - October 1992
Louise Erdrich, "author of thirteen novels, four volumes of poetry, a short story collection, two books of non-fiction, five children's books, and a text-book on writing, is one of the most prolific, most read and most acclaimed contemporary North American writers" (Deborah L. Madsen).Following her graduation from Dartmouth in 1976 she earned a MFA in the Writing Program of Johns Hopkins. Love Medicine, her first book, published in 1984, was a major success, selling 400,000 copies in the hardback edition and winning the National Book Critics Circle Award for that year. Toni Morrison wrote of the novel that its "beauty... saves us from being devastated by its power." Through a narrative technique that eschews chronology and privileges a cyclical view of the past, Love Medicine succeeded in weaving together—in a manner so original and imaginative that it was to become the hallmark of Ms. Erdrich's fictional style—strands of Ojibwe history: the interrelations of generations, the intermingling of ancient and contemporary voices, the loves and losses of proud and courageous women and men, and the intersection of the magical past and the hardscrabble, desperate and politically tumultuous present. In the novels that followed—like The Beet Queen (1986),Tracks (1988), The Antelope Wife (1998) The Master Butchers Singing Club (2003), The Painted Drum (2005), The Plague of Doves (2009) and Shadow Tag (2010)—Ms. Erdrich has returned to the same characters and families, deepening and broadening the stories and plots that concern them.
Last Updated: 7/24/12