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Shadow Tag

by

Shadow Tag Cover

ISBN13: 9780061536106
ISBN10: 0061536105
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Staff Pick

When Irene discovers that her husband is reading her diary, she starts using it to manipulate him. This is a searing portrait of a troubled marriage unraveling at the seams. Louise Erdrich gives us the best thing she has ever written. It is astonishing.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"Shadow Tag's form and content make for disturbing polarities: Erdrich imposes her exquisite mastery of language, imagery and literary form upon the raw and brutal chaos of mental illness, alcohol abuse and domestic violence. Unlike the rich orchestrations of much of her previous fiction, with its expansive explorations of history, storytelling and social communities, Shadow Tag is chamber music in a minor key: two parents and three children, a family in free fall over the course of one Minnesota winter." Diana Postlethwaite, Ms. Magazine (Read the entire Ms. Magazine review)

Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

Here is the most telling fact: you wish to possess me.

Here is another fact: I loved you and let you think you could.

When Irene America discovers that her husband, Gil, has been reading her diary, she begins a secret Blue Notebook, stashed securely in a safe-deposit box. There she records the truth about her life and her marriage, while turning her Red Diary — hidden where Gil will find it — into a manipulative farce. Alternating between these two records, complemented by unflinching third-person narration, Shadow Tag is an eerily gripping read.

When the novel opens, Irene is resuming work on her doctoral thesis about George Catlin, the nineteenth-century painter whose Native American subjects often regarded his portraits with suspicious wonder. Gil, who gained notoriety as an artist through his emotionally revealing portraits of his wife — work that is adoring, sensual, and humiliating, even shocking — realizes that his fear of losing Irene may force him to create the defining work of his career.

Meanwhile, Irene and Gil fight to keep up appearances for their three children: fourteen-year-old genius Florian, who escapes his family's unraveling with joints and a stolen bottle of wine; Riel, their only daughter, an eleven-year-old feverishly planning to preserve her family, no matter what disaster strikes; and sweet kindergartner Stoney, who was born, his parents come to realize, at the beginning of the end.

As her home increasingly becomes a place of violence and secrets, and she drifts into alcoholism, Irene moves to end her marriage. But her attachment to Gil is filled with shadowy need and delicious ironies. In brilliantly controlled prose, Shadow Tag fearlessly explores the complex nature of love, the fluid boundaries of identity, and one family's struggle for survival and redemption.

Review:

"Erdrich is a true original... [and] one of our major writers." Washington Post Book World

Review:

"Erdrich offers a portrait that's convincing...Shadow Tag is wonderfully, painfully readable and revealing." Minneapolis Star Tribune

Review:

"A masterpiece...a captivating work of fiction...Shadow Tag is a devastating portrayal of the circular insanity of romantic obsession...captures that lament in some of Erdrich's most beautiful and urgent writing." Ron Charles, Washington Post

Review:

"A brilliant cautionary tale...Reading it is like watching a wildfire whose flames are so mesmerizingly beautiful that it's almost easy to ignore the deadly mess left behind." Library Journal

Review:

"A fast-paced novel of exceptional artistic, intellectual, and psychological merit...Nowhere have love's complications been better illustrated than in the raw honesty of Shadow Tag." Boston Sunday Globe

Synopsis:

When Irene America discovers that her husband has been reading her diary, she begins a secret Blue Notebook, as much the truth about her life and her marriage as the Red Diary is a farce. Alternating between these two records, Shadow Tag is an eerily gripping novel.

Synopsis:

When Irene America discovers that her artist husband, Gil, has been reading her diary, she begins a secret Blue Notebook, stashed securely in a safe-deposit box. There she records the truth about her life and marriage, while turning her Red Diary—hidden where Gil will find it—into a manipulative charade. As Irene and Gil fight to keep up appearances for their three children, their home becomes a place of increasing violence and secrecy. And Irene drifts into alcoholism, moving ever closer to the ultimate destruction of a relationship filled with shadowy need and strange ironies. and unspeakable tragedy, Nick remained at sea for more than forty hours, holding on, hoping against hope and clinging to the thought that he couldn't bear to have his mother attend his funeral.

Not Without Hopeis much more than a story of survival. It is an inspiring story of friendship, resolve, and courage.

About the Author

Louise Erdrich is the author of thirteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, short stories, children's books, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel Love Medicine won the National Book Critics Circle Award. The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse was a finalist for the National Book Award. ...The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Louise Erdrich lives in Minnesota and is the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 7 comments:

Elyse, November 13, 2014 (view all comments by Elyse)
I don't believe that Erdrich has ever written a disappointing book. Shadow Tag is shorter than many, and its cast of characters smaller. What it is big on is imagary and emotion. Sometimes sweet and loving, sometimes brutal, the characters are hard to like but impossible to forget.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Teresa de Eugene, November 8, 2014 (view all comments by Teresa de Eugene)
There are so many metaphors and analogies at work in this rough, raw book of a failed marriage. Cruelty and the acceptance of it echo in the wife's research on Catlin, painter of American Indians. Shadow tag is a game, but it is also a jealous husband following his wife as she leads him astray, trying to trick him into giving her up. The shadows are also the particle physics of the couple's oldest (genius) son, the daughter who stands behind closed doors and listens, and the dogs who stand faithfully by, trying to keep a sick family safe.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
J. M. ODonnell, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by J. M. ODonnell)
Sparse, unsparing, real. Louise Erdrich at her best. I highly recommend this book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 7 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061536106
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Erdrich, Louise
Author:
Schuyler, Nick
Author:
Yeatman, C. Perry
Author:
Berdan, Stacie Nevadomski
Author:
Longman, Jere
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Careers
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20110201
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.89 in 16.08 oz

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Shadow Tag Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780061536106 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

When Irene discovers that her husband is reading her diary, she starts using it to manipulate him. This is a searing portrait of a troubled marriage unraveling at the seams. Louise Erdrich gives us the best thing she has ever written. It is astonishing.

"Review A Day" by , "Shadow Tag's form and content make for disturbing polarities: Erdrich imposes her exquisite mastery of language, imagery and literary form upon the raw and brutal chaos of mental illness, alcohol abuse and domestic violence. Unlike the rich orchestrations of much of her previous fiction, with its expansive explorations of history, storytelling and social communities, Shadow Tag is chamber music in a minor key: two parents and three children, a family in free fall over the course of one Minnesota winter." (Read the entire Ms. Magazine review)
"Review" by , "Erdrich is a true original... [and] one of our major writers."
"Review" by , "Erdrich offers a portrait that's convincing...Shadow Tag is wonderfully, painfully readable and revealing."
"Review" by , "A masterpiece...a captivating work of fiction...Shadow Tag is a devastating portrayal of the circular insanity of romantic obsession...captures that lament in some of Erdrich's most beautiful and urgent writing."
"Review" by , "A brilliant cautionary tale...Reading it is like watching a wildfire whose flames are so mesmerizingly beautiful that it's almost easy to ignore the deadly mess left behind."
"Review" by , "A fast-paced novel of exceptional artistic, intellectual, and psychological merit...Nowhere have love's complications been better illustrated than in the raw honesty of Shadow Tag."
"Synopsis" by , When Irene America discovers that her husband has been reading her diary, she begins a secret Blue Notebook, as much the truth about her life and her marriage as the Red Diary is a farce. Alternating between these two records, Shadow Tag is an eerily gripping novel.
"Synopsis" by , When Irene America discovers that her artist husband, Gil, has been reading her diary, she begins a secret Blue Notebook, stashed securely in a safe-deposit box. There she records the truth about her life and marriage, while turning her Red Diary—hidden where Gil will find it—into a manipulative charade. As Irene and Gil fight to keep up appearances for their three children, their home becomes a place of increasing violence and secrecy. And Irene drifts into alcoholism, moving ever closer to the ultimate destruction of a relationship filled with shadowy need and strange ironies. and unspeakable tragedy, Nick remained at sea for more than forty hours, holding on, hoping against hope and clinging to the thought that he couldn't bear to have his mother attend his funeral.

Not Without Hopeis much more than a story of survival. It is an inspiring story of friendship, resolve, and courage.

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