Synopses & Reviews
For more than twenty years Louise Erdrich has dazzled readers with the intricately wrought, deeply poetic novels which have won her a place among today's finest writers. Her nonfiction is equally eloquent, and this lovely memoir offers a vivid glimpse of the landscape, the people, and the long tradition of storytelling that give her work its magical, elemental force.
In a small boat like those her Native American ancestors have used for countless generations, she travels to Ojibwe home ground, the islands of Lake of the Woods in southern Ontario. Her only companions are her new baby and the baby's father, an Ojibwe spiritual leader, on a pilgrimage to the sacred rock paintings their people have venerated for centuries as mystical teaching and dream guides, and where even today Ojibwe leave offerings of tobacco in token of their power. With these paintings as backdrop, Erdrich summons to life the Ojibwe's spirits and songs, their language and sorrows, and the tales that are in their blood, echoing through her own family's very contemporary American lives and shaping her vision of the wider world. Thoughtful, moving, and wonderfully well observed, her meditation evokes ancient wisdom, modern ways, and the universal human concerns we all share.
This book is a treasure and a delight.--Minneapolis Star Tribune
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Fans of Erdrich's best-selling fiction will recognize her signature combination of the sacred and the ordinary in this lively traveler's memoir, and many will enjoy the rare glimpse of her personal life." Hazel Rochman, Booklist
"We know we are in the hands of an exceptionally skilled, sensitive, observant writer." Washington Post
"Here, Erdrich reveals her true appetite for books, including a covetousness for certain volumes that borders on the unethical. Erdrich doesn't like to travel: 'For me, the leaving hurts,' she writes. But her calm voice and true instincts are plainly revealed in this simple account of a writer's regeneration." Susan Salter Reynolds, The Los Angeles Times
Award-winning novelist Erdrich brilliantly weaves ancient Ojibwe rock paintings, personal insights on Ojibwe culture, and keen observations about her family into a lyrical and entertaining memoir.
Now Erdrich brings us a lovely and meditative account of a trip through the lakes and islands of southern Ontario with her new baby and the baby's father, an Ojibwe spiritual leader and guide. In this world, where her Ojibwe ancestors have lived for centuries, otter and moose still flourish, and ancient sturgeon leap in a glittering sunlit flash. But these natural splendors are just the backdrop to what Erdrich summons to life: the long, elemental tradition of storytelling that is in her blood. As she observes early on, her tribe's very name derives from the word ozhibii'ige, to write. Her journey will link eloquent stone paintings a thousand years old with a magical island where a bookish recluse built an extraordinary, improbable library and show how both have fueled her dreams.
Setting out with her infant daughter and the babys father, an Ojibwe spiritual leader and guide, Louise Erdrich embarks on an evocative journey to the islands of her forebearers in southern Ontario. She arrives in a small boat on Lake of the Woods to visit powerful, centuries-old rock paintings that are still read by contemporary Ojibwe as teaching and dream guides and are appreciated as art works as well.
In Books & Islands in Ojibwe Country Erdrich compellingly writes about the Ojibwe spirits and songs, language, and sorrows that have passed down through generations. Erdrich later travels to Rainy Lake, to an island of real books, the world of an exuberant eccentric and close friend to the Ojibwe, who established an extraordinary library there a hundred years ago. Set against commentary about her own family and contemporary lifeand written in beautiful and powerful proseBooks & Islands in Ojibwe Country is an intensely thoughtful, intimate, and fascinating cultural excursion.
The critically acclaimed author of Love Medicine describes her evocative odyssey back to the islands of her ancestors in southern Ontario, offering a compelling portrait of Ojibwe language, culture, spirits, traditions, and art as she visits centuries-old rock paintings and recalls her own family an
Louise Erdrich, daughter of an Ojibwe-French mother and a German-American father, is one of our foremost contemporary writers. Her first novel, Love Medicine,
won the National Book Critics Circle Award and other prizes and launched a remarkable string of books that includes The Beet Queen, The Bingo Palace, Tales of Burning Love,
and The Antelope Wife,
among other triumphs. She lives in Minneapolis.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author