Louise Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children's books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and her debut novel, Love Medicine, was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Erdrich has received the Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction, the prestigious PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. She lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.
The power and virtuosity of Love Medicine ( LJ 10/1/84) are again evident in Erdrich's second, more ambitious novel. Its action spans 40 years, starting in 1932, when three fatherless children are abandoned by their mother as well. Eleven-year-old Mary seeks haven for the family with Aunt Fritzie Kozka; but the baby is kidnapped; 14-year-old Karl, a drifter and dreamer, lights off alone; and only practical, hardheaded Mary takes root. Bizarre coincidences, taut blood tangles, and surreal fantasies challenge the ordinary as relationships bloom and wilt, including one between homosexual Karl, who moves in and out of the action, and Mary's best friend, with whom he fathers a child. At times the shifting voices strain continuity, yet Erdrich's brilliance is such that we believe deeply in her people, are dazzled by her words. An engrossing and breathtaking novel. Elise Chase, Forbes Lib., Northampton, Mass.
"A remarkable and luminous novel."-- Michiko Kakutani, "New York Times"Captivating."-- "Washington Post Book World"A book of power and precision....[Louise Erdrich's] two books together provoke in me amazement and gratitude at this splendid, feisty talent."-- Robert Bly, "New York Times Book Review"Written with extraordinary power, compassion, and insight into the human heart....Erdrich has vaulted into the front ranks of American literature."-- Dan Cryer, "Newsday"The dialogue is brilliant from start to finish. And MAry, Karl, Selestine, Sita, and Dot are all original and powerful characters who, like their relatives in "Love Medicine, left me exhilarated, somewhat drained, and very grateful to this immensely gifted novelist for -- "Chicago Sun-Times"She is a luminous writer and has produced a novel rich in movement, beauty, event. Her prose spins and sparkles, and dances right on the heart when it needs to."-- "Los Angeles Times