One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and 13-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.
"MADE THE LISTS OF BEST BOOKS!"
North Dakota, late summer, 1999. Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence - but when the buck springs away, Landreaux realizes he's hit something else, a blur he saw as he squeezed the trigger. When he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighbor's five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich.
With exquisite care, National Book Critics Circle Award winner Louise Erdrich has fashioned a story rich in the way of life and heritage of the Ojibwa people, a story that begs to be told out loud. As each season in a year of Omakayas' life is lovingly portrayed, the satisfying rhythm of her days is shattered when a stranger visits the lodge one night, bringing with him an invisible enemy that will change things forever.
"My children loved listening to this story with me"
The unsolved murder of a farm family haunts the small, white, off-reservation town of Pluto, North Dakota. The vengeance exacted for this crime and the subsequent distortions of truth transform the lives of Ojibwe living on the nearby reservation and shape the passions of both communities for the next generation.
"Great American Tale"
For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved people, the Ojibwe, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery of his physical identity, for he is a woman who has lived as a man. To complicate his fears, his quiet life changes when a troubled colleague comes to the reservation to investigate the life of the perplexing, difficult, possibly false saint Sister Leopolda.
"Remarkable and Challenging"
In the world of interconnected novels by Louise Erdrich, Four Souls is most closely linked to Tracks. All these works continue and elaborate on the intricate story of life on a reservation peopled by saints and false saints, heroes and sinners, clever fools and tenacious women. Louise Erdrich reminds us of the deep spirituality and the ordinary humanity of this world, and these works are as beautiful and lyrical as anything she has written.
"Tracks and Four Souls"
When Faye Travers is called upon to appraise the estate of a family in her small New Hampshire town, she isn't surprised to discover a forgotten cache of valuable Native American artifacts. However, she stops dead in her tracks when she finds in the collection a rare drum, ornamented with symbols she doesn't recognize and dressed in red tassels and a beaded belt and skirt, especially since, without touching the instrument, she hears it sound.
"Worth sticking with"
Her name is Omakayas, or Little Frog, because her first step was a hop, and she lives on an island in Lake Superior. It is 1850 and the lives of the Ojibwe have returned to a familiar rhythm: they build their birchbark houses in the summer, go to the ricing camps in the fall to harvest and feast, and move to their cozy cedar log cabins near the town of LaPointe before the first snows.
What happens when a trained killer discovers, in the aftermath of war, that his true vocation is love? Having survived the killing fields of World War I, Fidelis Waldvogel returns home to his quiet German village and marries the pregnant widow of his best friend, killed in action.
When Irene America discovers that her husband, Gil, has been reading her diary, she begins a secret Blue Notebook, stashed securely in a safe deposit box. There she records the truth about her life and her marriage, while turning her Red Diary—hidden where Gil will find it—into a manipulative farce.
"Enjoyed it until the ending"
A soldier deserts the cavalry during a cruel raid on an Ojibwa village to chase a dog bearing on its back a baby on a cradle board strung with breathtaking blue beads. Generations later, a fast-talking trader kidnaps a silent and graceful woman from a powwow. In a haunting re-creation of a native tale, the woman is part antelope. Hunter and hunted change identities, and nothing is ever the same for those involved.
"I could not get past the recording of this book."
Selected Shorts is an award-winning, one-hour program featuring readings of classic and new short fiction, recorded live at New York's Symphony Space. One of the most popular series on the airwaves, this unique show is hosted by Isaiah Sheffer and produced for radio by Symphony Space and WNYC Radio.
"This is My Kinda Fiction Buster..."
Louise Erdrich (The Plague of Doves) talks about her latest collection of stories with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! The book features skillfully woven, multigenerational stories of family entanglements, desperate passions, and dangerous choices. Sonia Manzano performs an excerpt.
"Story actually not read in the audio!"
"Chilling" by Elizabeth Kolbert; "The Utopians" by Ben McGrath; "Ideas for Paintings" by Jack Handy; "Gleason" by Louise Erdrich; "The Girls Next Door" by Joan Acocella; and "Blowup" by David Denby.
"His Way" by Steve Coll; "Checking It Twice" by Lizzie Widdecombe; "The Gift Right Out" by James Surowiecki; "The Past Conditional" by Julian Barnes; "Demolition" by Louise Erdrich; and "Best and Brightest" by David Denby.