I don’t talk about her nearly enough, but Louise Erdrich is one of my favorite authors of all time. I own more of her books than nearly any other author in my library (I own 19 of her books, but I own 26 copies of Rick Riordan’s books… dang i have a problem). I don’t know many people on booktubers or book bloggers who read her though, and I would like to change that!
Erdrich’s main genre is adult literary fiction, however she has written a handful of children’s books, and dabbles in poetry and short stories as well. All of her novels center around Native American landscapes and characters, more specifically the Ojibwe tribe in very northern America. Her novels are rich and actually are also interconnected, with individuals showing up in multiple books. My personal favorite of hers is The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. This is probably because this is the first work of hers I ever read so it holds a special place in my heart. I read it for a women’s fiction class in college and it obviously left an impression. But even if it wasn’t my first Erdrich, I still think it would remain my favorite.
Anyway, here are 5 reasons I think you should read Louise Erdrich!
- Native American literature is SO lacking in mainstream books. Everyone knows how important diversity is in today’s literature. And luckily lately the spotlight has been shining on LGBTQIA+ authors, authors of color, and authors with mental illness. But despite this great inclusivity and diversity starting up in literature, native americans authors are still very hard to come by, especially in big chain bookstores and on booktube, bookstagram, and book blogs. Louise Erdrich is therefore an important voice for this group because not only is it her sole center of her works, but she is an award-winning & best-selling author that you can find in Barnes & Noble for example. And she is own voices.
- Her command of language. She is very particular and careful in choosing every single one of her words. Every time I reading something of hers I am transported completely. It’s very lyrical writing and she is a master of her craft.
- Her books deal with heavy but important topics. Including domestic violence, gender identity, alcoholism, family struggles, and racism.
- She has won multiple awards for her writing. Not just for her adult fiction, but in every genre she has published. Including: National Book Award for The Round House, the World Fantasy Award for The Antelope Wife, the Scott O’Dell Award for A Game of Silence, and the Pushcart Prize for her poetry. She was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
- She owns a bookstore! Yes, this author is a bonafide bibliophile herself! Her store is Birchback Books in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They sell MANY Native American works there, as well as Native American jewelry, art, and hosting events too.