Synopses & Reviews
This unique volume brings together for the first time three decades of short stories by one of the most innovative and exciting writers of our day. A master of the genre, Louise Erdrich has selected these pieces—thirty works that first appeared in magazines as well as six unpublished stories—from among a much larger oeuvre. She has ordered them chronologically but also by theme and voice.
Erdrich is a fearless and inventive writer. In her fictional world, the mystical can emerge from the everyday, the comic turn suddenly tragic, and violence and beauty inhabit a single emotional landscape. Each character in these stories is full of surprises, and the twists and leaps of Erdrich's imagination are made all the more meaningful by the deeper truth of human feeling that underlies them.
In "Saint Marie," the ardent longing that propels a fourteen-year-old Indian girl up the hill to the Sacred Heart Convent and into a life-and-death struggle with the diabolical Sister Leopolda fuels a story of breathtaking power and originality. "Knives" tells of a homely butcher's assistant, a devoted reader of love stories, who falls for a good-looking predator, a traveling salesman, with devastating consequences for each of them. "Le Mooz" evokes the stinging flames of passion in old age—"Margaret had exhausted three husbands, and Nanapush had outlived his six wives"—with unexpected humor that turns suddenly bittersweet at the story's close. A passion for music in "Naked Woman Playing Chopin" proves more powerful than any experience of carnal or spiritual love; indeed, when Agnes DeWitt removes her clothing to enter the music of a particular composer, she sweeps all before her and transcends mortality and time itself.
In The Red Convertible, readers can follow the evolution of narrative styles, the shifts and metamorphoses in Erdrich's fiction, over the past thirty years. These stories, spellbinding in their boldness and beauty, are a stunning literary achievement.
“Erdrich is one of our major writers...and this volume is a good demonstration of her compelling stylistic innovations, not to mention her literary cunning.” Washington Post Book World
“Louise Erdrich is an immensely satisfying storyteller... She finds grace in action, using the gentlest of language.” Los Angeles Times
“A wondrous short story writer…A master tuner of the taut emotions that keen between parent and child, man and woman, brother and sister, man and beast.” New York Times Book Review
"Erdrich's characters are unforgettable...
“Erdrichs stories dont grow old. They grow more astonishing for how fresh they still feel. . . . You only have to read the first story . . . to get a whiff of authorial wizardry.” Chicago Tribune
“Erdrich can sketch a novels worth of character and incident in just a few pages.” Entertainment Weekly
“Compiled from 30 years of work, spanning an enormous variety of registers . . . The Red Convertible reveals Erdrich to be one of Americas finest writers of short fiction.” Dallas Morning News
“A collection of brave and inventive stories...” Ms. magazine
“These tales, like the shining car in the title story, have a velocity all their own.” O magazine
“Erdrichs characters are unforgettable...
A stunning collection of short stories by Louise Erdrich, author of the National Book Award-winning The Round House. Selected by the author herself from over three decades of work, The Red Convertible is a veritable masterclass in the art of short fiction. In "Saint Marie," a Native American girl leaves her reservation to enter the Sacred Heart Convent and is propelled into a life-and-death struggle with the diabolical Sister Leopolda. "Knives" features a homely butcher's assistant, a devoted reader of love stories, who falls for a good-looking but predatory traveling salesman with devastating consequences for each of them. A passion for music in "Naked Woman Playing Chopin" proves more powerful than any experience of carnal or spiritual love; indeed, when Agnes DeWitt removes her clothing to enter the music of a particular composer, she sweeps all before her and transcends mortality and time itself.
A collection of breathtaking power and originality, The Red Convertible cements Louise Erdich's position in the pantheon of consummate, innovative writers of the American short story alongside such luminaries as Flannery O'Connor and Charles Baxter
“Erdrich is a true original… [and] one of our major writers: She illuminates large swaths of U.S. history and culture, and [The Red Covertible
] is a good demonstration of her compelling stylistic innovations, not to mention her literary cunning.” —Washington Post Book World
From New York Times bestselling author Louise Erdrich, fresh off her acclaimed Pulitzer-Prize finalist The Plague of Doves, comes The Red Convertible, a stunning collection of short stories selected by the author herself from over three decades of work. A veritable masterclass in the art of short fiction, The Red Convertible features 31 previously published stories and 5 never-before-published pieces. Presented in one collection for the first time, the stories of The Red Convertible cement Louise Erdichs position in the pantheon of consummate, innovative writers of the American short story alongside such luminaries as Flannery OConnor and Charles Baxter.
About the Author
Louise Erdrich lives with her family in Minnesota and is the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore. Ms. Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, and this story—which will, in the end, span one hundred years in the life of an Ojibwe woman—was inspired when Ms. Erdrich and her mother, Rita Gourneau Erdrich, were researching their own family history. Chickadee
begins a new part of the story that started with The Birchbark House
, a National Book Award finalist; The Game of Silence
, winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction; and the acclaimed The Porcupine Year
Ms. Erdrich is also the bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels for adults, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves and National Book Award finalist The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. She is also the author of the picture book Grandmother's Pigeon, illustrated by Jim LaMarche.