A Reader's Guide to the Novels of Louise Erdrich by Peter Beidler, Gay Barton

By Peter Beidler, Gay Barton

This article goals to pilot the reader in the course of the maze of Louise Erdrich's interlocking worlds. half 1 presents a skeletal define of every relatives incorporated within the novels; and half 2, a dictionary of characters, types the center of the booklet.

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Extra resources for A Reader's Guide to the Novels of Louise Erdrich

Sample text

Tales of Burning Love is set mostly in Fargo, North Dakota, where Jack Mauser, the focal character, has his construction business. Some key scenes, however, take place in fictional Argus, and minor scenes take place on the reservation. Although Jack’s father is of German ancestry, his mother is from the reservation, and Jack himself is an enrolled member of the reservation tribe. Much of the narrative concerns Jack’s various loves, told largely from the point of view of his four surviving wives in a narrative setting vaguely reminiscent of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

Celestine James, the mixed-blood daughter of a Chippewa woman and a white man, is the mother of the “Beet Queen,” Dot Adare (the same Dot who is married to Gerry Nanapush in Love Medicine and Jack Mauser in Tales of Burning Love). Karl Adare is Dot’s father. Thus Dot is part Chippewa, but she has virtually no on-reservation experiences apart from a few visits to her uncles Eli and Russell. ) Nevertheless, even though The Beet Queen is mostly about white characters in a white setting, it is in some ways informed by an Indian consciousness and an awareness of Indian history in a community now dominated by white values.

On this trip Dot learns that she is Jack’s fifth wife and that he has a child by an earlier wife. December 31, 1994 Jack’s house burns down. Jack escapes, naked, out a basement window, after leaving clues to suggest that he burns to death. January 1, 1995 The freezing Jack is rescued and then beaten by Caryl Moon. Jack manages to walk to his company’s garage, where he slowly recovers. January 4, 1995 Jack’s banker, Hegelstead, visits him in the garage. They agree that Jack should work with Lyman Lamartine on his reservation casino project.

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