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The Beet Queen
Synopses & Reviews
This series of four luminescent novels of contemporary Native American and Midwestern life have been repackaged to unify HarperFlamingo's Louise Erdrich fiction list and bring this incomparable author's timeless works to a whole new audience.
From the release of her first novel, Love Medicine, winner of the National Book Critics Award for fiction, Louise Erdrich's writing has enthralled and enchanted critics and the public alike. Her work has been called "remarkable and luminous" by the New York Times and "marvelously inventive" by the Wall Street Journal, while the Philadelphia Inquirer raves, "Few modern writers can equal Louise Erdrich for sheer stylistic brilliance". and the Los Angeles Times says, "Her prose spins and sparkles, and dances right on the heart when it has to". A writer of power and effortless grace, she brings the people, cultures, and simple rugged beauty of North Dakota vividly to life. This cherished series, currently including Love Medicine, The Bingo Palace, The Beet Queen, and Tracks, reflects shared landscapes, themes, and unforgettable characters.
"The woman can write. Readers who liked Love Medicine will be delighted by Louise Erdrich's new novel about some losers in North Dakota. It might be argued that everyone in that state is at a disadvantage, but that would be unfair. The bleak, uninviting northern plains are part of the story, as surely as some oddball half-breeds, closet homosexuals, lady butchers, and assorted misfits. The cast makes for a good yarn with a fair number of laughs along the way, and Ms. Erdrich puts the reader in the thick of things. Highly recommended." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
Now, from the award-winning author of Love Medicine, comes a vibrant tale of abandonment and sexual obsession, jealousy and unstinting love.On a spring morning in 1932, young Karl and Mary Adare arrive by boxcar in Argus, North Dakota.Orphaned in a most peculiar way, Karl and Mary look for refuge to their mother's sister Fritzie, who with her husband, Pete, runs a butcher shop.So begins an exhilerating 40-year saga brimming with unforgettable characters: Ordinary Mary, who causes a miracle ; seductive Karl, who lacks Mary's gift for survival; Sita, their lovely, disturbed, ambitious cousin; Wallace Pfef, a town leader bearing a lonely secret; Celestine James, a mixed-blood Chippewa; and her daughter, Dot. Theirs is a story grounded in the tenacity of relationships, the magic of natural events and the unending mystery of the human condition.
About the Author
Louise Erdrich is one of the most gifted, prolific, and challenging of contemporary Native American novelists. Born in 1954 in Little Falls, Minnesota, she grew up mostly in Wahpeton, North Dakota, where her parents taught at Bureau of Indian Affairs schools. Her fiction reflects aspects of her mixed heritage: German through her father, and French and Ojibwa through her mother. She worked at various jobs, such as hoeing sugar beets, farm work, waitressing, short order cooking, lifeguarding, and construction work, before becoming a writer. She attended the Johns Hopkins creative writing program and received fellowships at the McDowell Colony and the Yaddo Colony. After she was named writer-in-residence at Dartmouth, she married professor Michael Dorris and raised several children, some of them adopted. She and Michael became a picture-book husband-and-wife writing team, though they wrote only one truly collaborative novel, The Crown of Columbus (1991).
The Antelope Wife was published in 1998, not long after her separation from Michael and his subsequent suicide. Some reviewers believed they saw in The Antelope Wife the anguish Erdrich must have felt as her marriage crumbled, but she has stated that she is unconscious of having mirrored any real-life events.
She is the author of four previous bestselling and award-winning novels, including Love Medicine; The Beet Queen; Tracks; and The Bingo Palace. She also has written two collections of poetry, Jacklight, and Baptism of Desire. Her fiction has been honored by the National Book Critics Circle (1984) and The Los Angeles Times (1985), and has been translated into fourteen languages.
Several of her short stories have been selected for O. Henry awards and for inclusion in the annual Best American Short Story anthologies. The Blue Jay's Dance, a memoir of motherhood, was her first nonfiction work, and her children's book, Grandmother's Pigeon, has been published by Hyperion Press. She lives in Minnesota with her children, who help her run a small independent bookstore called The Birchbark.
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