Louise Erdrich Essay

Louise Erdrich Essay-76
Erdrich’s novels (2004) encompass the stories of three interrelated families living in and around a reservation in the fictional town of Argus, North Dakota, from 1912 through the present.

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She has given us a wonderfully sad, funny and affecting novel.” Though many of Erdrich’s novels involve the same revolving cast of characters, in (2003), Erdrich focused on the European half of her ancestry, telling the stories of a World War I veteran, his wife and a large cast of characters in a small North Dakota town.

The book was a finalist for the National Book Award finalist.

is a professor of English at William Rainey Harper College. Her prior publications include book chapters on postmodern American literature and composition, as well as reference essays on various figures in twentieth–century American literature.

“ offers a rare and thoughtful view inside the motivations of Native America’s most accomplished writer.

A writer himself—Dorris would later publish the best-selling novel —he decided then that he was interested in working with Erdrich.

Though Dorris left for New Zealand to do field research while Erdrich moved to Boston, the two began collaborating on short stories, including one titled “The World’s Greatest Fisherman.” When this story won five thousand dollars in the Nelson Algren fiction competition, Erdrich and Dorris decided to expand it into a novel—center on the conflict between Native and non-Native cultures, but they also celebrate family bonds and the ties of kinship, offer autobiographical meditations, dramatic monologues and love poetry, as well as showing the influence of Ojibwa myths and legends.Erdrich grew up in North Dakota, where her parents taught at a school run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.Erdrich attended Dartmouth College, part of the first class of women admitted to the college; her freshman year also coincided with the establishment of the Native-American studies department.Through her characters’ antics, Erdrich explores universal family life cycles while also communicating a sense of the changes and loss involved in the twentieth-century Native-American experience.In a as “one of [Erdrich’s] most powerful and fully imagined novels yet.” Kakutani added: “Erdrich has returned to doing what she does best: using multiple viewpoints and strange, surreal tales within tales to conjure up a family’s legacy of love, duty and guilt, and to show us how that family’s fortunes have both shifted—and endured—as its members have abandoned ancient Indian traditions for a modern fast-food existence…As for Ms., Seema Kurup offers a comprehensive analysis of this critically acclaimed Native American novelist whose work stands as a testament to the struggle of the Ojibwe people to survive colonization and contemporary reservation life.Kurup traces in Erdrich's oeuvre the theme of colonization, both historical and cultural, and its lasting effects, starting with the various novels of the , and selected poetry.In his class, Erdrich began the exploration of her own ancestry that would eventually inspire her poems, short stories and novels.Intent on balancing her academic training with a broad range of practical knowledge, Erdrich told Miriam Berkley in an interview with “I ended up taking some really crazy jobs, and I’m glad I did.Erdrich has always claimed that her childhood, spent in a community of story-tellers, influenced her work and its concern with narrative.Much of Erdrich’s poetry is narrative poetry, told in direct language that often relies, as in the section of , Lorena Laura Stookey noted that “Erdrich began her mature literary career as a poet, and the evidence of her origins can be found in her lyrical prose, in her deft use of imagery and metaphor, and in her employment within her fiction of patterned designs and recurring motifs.


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