The Chippewa Landscape of Louise Erdrich

Overview

Louise Erdrich is arguably the most prolific and prominent contemporary writer of American Indian descent in North America today. Her novels and short stories have won great critical acclaim and are widely taught in American and world literature courses.

This collection of original essays focuses on Erdrich's writings rooted in the Chippewa experience. Premier scholars of Native American literature investigate narrative structure, signs of ethnicity, the notions of luck and ...

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Overview

Louise Erdrich is arguably the most prolific and prominent contemporary writer of American Indian descent in North America today. Her novels and short stories have won great critical acclaim and are widely taught in American and world literature courses.

This collection of original essays focuses on Erdrich's writings rooted in the Chippewa experience. Premier scholars of Native American literature investigate narrative structure, signs of ethnicity, the notions of luck and chance in Erdrich's narrative cosmology, her use of hunting metaphors, her efforts to counter stereotypes of American Indian women, her use of comedy in exploring American Indians' tragic past, her intentions underlying the process of revision in Love Medicine, and other subjects.

Including a variety of theoretical approaches, this book provides a comprehensive examination of Erdrich's work, making it more accessible to new readers and richer to those already familiar with her work.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Louise Erdrich is perhaps America's best-known contemporary Native American writer. Her first novel, Love Medicine (LJ 10/1/84), won immediate public and critical acclaim, and she continues to write prolifically, weaving the characters from one novel into the plots of others. These essays focus on how Erdrich integrates her Chippewa heritage into her fiction, examining her use of games of chance, hunting as metaphor, and comedy, among other themes. Essayists include editor Chavin (English, Southwest Texas Univ.), who convincingly demonstrates how Erdrich's 1993 revision of Love Medicine effectively politicizes the novel, making it less susceptible to criticism for stereotypical content. In "Ethnic Signs," Catherine Rainwater (English, St. Edward's Univ.) discusses Erdrich's power as a storyteller, saying she "leads her readers (Indian and non-Indian alike) to see that there are no innocent participants in storytelling." While some of the essays are suitable for informed general readers, others are esoteric enough to appeal only to those in the field.--Mary B. Davis, Huntington Free Lib., Bronx, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817309558
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 213
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Against All Odds: Games of Chance in the Novels of Louise Erdrich 8
2 From Sacred Hoops to Bingo Palaces: Louise Erdrich's Carnivalesque Fiction 36
3 Life into Death, Death into Life: Hunting as Metaphor and Motive in Love Medicine 67
4 Vision and Revision in Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine 84
5 Narrative and Ethos in Erdrich's "A Wedge of Shade" 117
6 Of Vision Quests and Spirit Guardians: Female Power in the Novels of Louise Erdrich 130
7 Ethnic Signs in Erdrich's Tracks and The Bingo Palace 144
8 Indi'n Humor and Trickster Justice in: The Bingo Palace 161
9 Afterword 182
Selected Bibliography 189
Contributors 201
Index 205
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