Louise Erdrich’s talk is entitled “Story First: Writing a Political Novel” in which she’ll discuss the process of writing a novel that includes a difficult contemporary subject.
Louise Erdrich was born in Little Falls, Minnesota, and grew up in North Dakota. Both her parents—her father was German-born and her mother Chippewa—taught at a school run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Erdrich often visited her maternal grandparents on the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation, the setting for her first novel, Love Medicine (1984). In an award-winning series of novels and short stories, Erdrich has visited and revisited these lands and has traced love, loss, and violence in beautiful, masterful writing. “One can only marvel…at Erdrich’s amazing ability to do what so few of us can—shape words into phrases and sentences of incomparable beauty that, then, pour forth a mesmerizing story” (USA Today).
Erdrich has published three critically acclaimed poetry collections; one short story collection, The Red Convertible (2009); six books for children, including The Leap (1990) and The Porcupine Year (2008); and 13 novels, including Love Medicine (1984), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Beet Queen (1986); The Plague of Doves (2010), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Shadow Tag (2011).
Erdrich is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa, Pembina Band and the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore in Minneapolis.