About Louise Erdrich Essay Research Paper Louise

About Louise Erdrich Essay, Research Paper

Louise Erdrich

The earth was full of life and there were dandelions growing out

the window, thick as thieves, already seeded, fat as big yellow plungers. She let my hand

go. I got up. "I’ll go out and dig a few dandelions," I told her. Outside, the

sun was hot and heavy as a hand on my back. I felt it flow down my arms, out my fingers,

arrowing through the ends of the fork into the earth. With every root I prized up there

was a return, as if I was kin to its secret lesson. The touch got stronger as I worked

through the grassy afternoon. Uncurling from me like a seed out of the blackness where I

was lost, the touch spread. The spiked leaves full of bitter mother’s milk. A buried root.

A nuisance people dig up and throw in the sun to wither. A globe of frail seeds

that’s indestructible.

From Love Medicine (1984)

Brigham Narins

Erdrich’s interest in writing can be traced to her childhood and her heritage. She told

Writer’s Digest contributor Michael Schumacher, "People in [Native American]

families make everything into a story . . . People just sit and the stories start coming,

one after another. I suppose that when you grow up constantly hearing the stories rise,

break, and fall, it gets into you somehow."

[. . . .]

Erdrich once told Contemporary Authors of the way in which her parents

encouraged her writing: "My father used to give me a nickel for story I wrote, and my

mother wove strips of construction paper together and stapled them into book covers. So at

an early age I felt myself to be a published author earning substantial royalties."

Online source: http://www.nativeauthors.com/search/bio/bioerdrich.html

Kayann Short

Although first published as a poet, Louise Erdrich considers herself a storyteller:

"I began to tell stories in the poems and then realized that there was not enough

room . . . But I think in the book you try to make the language do some of the same

things, metaphysically and sensuously, physically, that poetry can do (Winged Words, 1990).

Erdrich’s fiction has been critically acclaimed for its lyrical prose anf humor,

beginning with Love Medicine (1984), which won the National Book Critics Circle

Award. Chickasaw writer Linda Hogan credits Erdrich with pointing Native-American writing

in a new direction by "telling the plain stories of people and their lives without

pity, judgment, opinion or romanticization" (This Is About Vision, ed. William

Balassi, et al., 1990).

Erdrich was raised in North Dakota, where her parents worked for the Wahpeton Indian

School. Her morhter encouraged her to enter the first coeducational class at Dartmouth

College in 1972 through the Native American Studies program, where she met her future

husband and collaborator, Michael Dorris the program’s director. After graduation,

she returned to North Dakota and held a variety of jobs, including Poet in the Schools. In

1979, she earned a master’s degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University,

and became a writer in residence at Dartmouth, marrying Dorris in 1981.

In 1982, Erdrich won the Nelson Algren fiction competition with the story "The

World’s Greatest Fisherman," which became the first chapter of Love Medicine, the

first novel in a tetralogy that includes The Beet Queen (1986), Tracks (1988),

and Bingo Palace (1994). Each of the novels interweaves self-contained short

stories told by different narrators and chronicles three generations of Native-American

and European-immigrant families in a fictionalized region of North Dakota from 1912 to the

present. Cyclical in structure, the novels move toward resolution through discovery of

individual identity in relation to "people in a small community who have to get along

with each other over time and who know all of each other’s stories" ("An

Interview with Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris," Missouri Review 11, 1988).

Erdrich’s first book of poetry, Jacklight, was published in 1984, and was

followed by a second collection, Baptism of Fire, in 1989. Although Erdrich and

Dorris always write collaboratively, The Crown of Columbus (1991) was the first

work to be published under both their names. Erdich’s work has appeared in such

periodicals as Ms., the New Yorker, and Harper’s, among

others, as well as in numerous anthologies, including That’s What She Said (1984)

and Spider Woman’s Granddaughters (1989). She and Dorris live in New Hampshire with

their five children.

See–Jan George, "Interview with Louise Erdrich," North Dakota Quarterly 53

(1985): 240-246. Hertha D. Wong, "An Interview with Louise Erdrich and Michael

Dorris," North Dakota Quarterly (1987): 196-218. Kay Bonetti, "An

Interview with Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris," Missouri Review 11 (1988):

79-99. Louise Erdrich, "Conversions," in Day In, Day Out: Women’s Lives in

North Dakota, ed. Elizabeth Hampsten (1989), pp. 23-27. Laura Coltelli, ed., Winged

Words: American Indian Writers Speak (1990).

[Editor’s Note: Michael Dorris committed suicide in 1997.]

From The Oxford Companion to Women’s Writing in the United States. Ed.

Cathy Davidson and Linda Wagner-Martin. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. Copyright

? 1995 by Oxford University Press.

Amy Leigh McNally and Piyali Nath Dalal

In a 1985 interview with Laura Coltelli, Karen Louise Erdrich was asked if she

considered herself to be a poet or a storyteller. Erdrich replied, "Oh, a

storyteller, a writer." Her own life story, as well as her novels and poems, are what

make Louise Erdrich so widely known. Erdrich, the oldest of seven children, was born in

Little Falls, Minnesota, on June 7, 1954. The daughter of French Ojibwe mother and German

American father, Louise Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.

Erdrich’s large extended family lived nearby, affecting her writing life from an early


Her father introduced Louise to William Shakespeare’s plays and encouraged Louise and

her sisters to write their own stories (Giles 44). Erdrich comments in a 1991 Writer’s

Digest interview, "The people in our families made everything into a story. They

love to tell a good story. People just sit and the stories start coming, one after

another. You just sort of grab the tail of the last person’s story: it reminds you of

something and you keep going on. I suppose that when you grow up constantly hearing the

stories rise, break and fall, it gets into you somehow" (Giles 43). The exposure to

storytelling had a prodigious influence on Louise’s shaping and creation of plot; it was

as important as literary influences if not more.

[. . . .]

After completing her undergraduate degree, Erdrich taught poetry and writing to young

people through a position at the State Arts Council of North Dakota. She worked a variety

of low-paying jobs, from waitressing to weighing trucks on the interstate. These

occupations have made their way into Erdrich’s fiction, increasing its verisimilitude, and

broadening her understanding of the human experience. Erdrich was awarded a fellowship to

be part of John Hopkins University’s writing program in 1979. She then worked as an editor

of the Boston Indian Council newspaper, The Circle.

[. . . .]

Writing intuitively, allowing characters to tell their own stories with their own voice

and at their own pace, writing without chronological structure, writing prose daily, and

working on several projects at once are some pieces of the process of Louise Erdrich’s

writing life. She revises extensively, referring incessantly to old journals for ideas and


[. . . .]

Although two books of Erdrich’s poetry, Imagination (1981) and Jacklight

(1984), had already been published by the time Love Medicine (1984) appeared

in publication, Erdrich’s first novel was clearly responsible for her eruption into

academic and popular success as a writer. Love Medicine, a collection of

interrelated short stories, features characters and speakers from four Anishinaabe

families: the Kashpaws, the Lamartines, the Pillagers, and the Morrisseys. Erdrich

represents the families in non-hierarchical terms by employing speakers of various ages

and stations within the community. Furthermore, the fifty year span of the novel is

related to the reader not chronologically, but instead in a cyclical manner as the book

opens in 1980, weaves its way back to the 1930’s, and finally returns to the early 1980’s.

Erdrich’s narrative technique ultimately accomplishes a holistic temporal view of the

Anishinaabe culture in which present occurrences cannot be isolated from the past.

From Voices in the Gap. Online source: http://voices.cla.umn.edu/authors/LouiseErdrich.html

"My father used to give me a nickel for every story I wrote…. So at an early age

I felt myself to be a published author earning substantial royalties."




Award-winning author Louise Erdrich published her first two books — Jacklight,

a volume of poetry, and Love Medicine, a novel — at the age of thirty. The

daughter of a Chippewa Indian mother and a German-American father, the author explores

Native American themes in her works, with major characters representing both sides of her

heritage. The first in a multi-part series, Love Medicine traces two Native

American families from 1934 to 1984 in a unique seven-narrator format. The novel was

extremely well-received, earning its author numerous awards, including the National Book

Critics Circle Award in 1984. Since then, Erdrich has gone on to publish The Beet

Queen, Tracks, The Bingo Palace, and Tales of Burning Love, all

of which are related through recurring characters and themes.

Erdrich’s interest in writing can be traced to her childhood and her heritage. She toldWriter’s

Digest contributor Michael Schumacher, "People in [Native American] families make

everything into a story…. People just sit and the stories start coming, one after

another. I suppose that when you grow up constantly hearing the stories rise, break, and

fall, it gets into you somehow." The oldest in a family of seven children, Erdrich

was raised in Wahpeton, North Dakota. Her Chippewa grandfather had been the tribal chair

of the nearby Turtle Mountain Reservation, and her parents worked at the Bureau of Indian

Falls boarding school. Erdrich once told CA of the way in which her parents

encouraged her writing: "My father used to give me a nickel for every story I wrote,

and my mother wove strips of construction paper together and stapled them into book

covers. So at an early age I felt myself to be a published author earning substantial


Erdrich’s first year at Dartmouth, 1972, was the year the college began admitting

women, as well as the year the Native American studies department was established. The

author’s future husband and collaborator, anthropologist Michael Dorris, was hired to

chair the department. In his class, Erdrich began the exploration of her own ancestry that

would eventually inspire her novels. Intent on balancing her academic training with a

broad range of practical knowledge, Erdrich told Miriam Berkley in an interview with Publishers

Weekly, "I ended up taking some really crazy jobs, and I’m glad I did. They

turned out to have been very useful experiences, although I never would have believed it

at the time." In addition to working as a lifeguard, waitress, poetry teacher at

prisons, and construction flag signaler, Erdrich became an editor for the Circle, a

Boston Indian Council newspaper. She told Schumacher, "Settling into that job and

becoming comfortable with an urban community — which is very different from the

reservation community — gave me another reference point. There were lots of people

with mixed blood, lots of people who had their own confusions. I realized that this was

part of my life — it wasn’t something that I was making up — and that it was

something I wanted to write about." In 1978, the author enrolled in an M.A.

program at Johns Hopkins University, where she wrote poems and stories incorporating her

heritage, many of which would later become part of her books. She also began sending her

work to publishers, most of whom sent back rejection slips.

After receiving her master’s degree, Erdrich returned to Dartmouth as a

writer-in-residence. Dorris — with whom she had remained in touch — attended a

reading of Erdrich’s poetry there, and was impressed. A writer himself — Dorris would

later publish the best-selling novel A Yellow Raft in Blue Water and receive the

1989 National Book Critics Circle Award for his nonfiction work The Broken Cord

— he decided then that he was interested in working with Erdrich and getting to know

her better. When he left for New Zealand to do field research and Erdrich went to Boston

to work on a textbook, the two began sending their poetry and fiction back and forth with

their letters, laying a groundwork for a literary relationship. Dorris returned to New

Hampshire in 1980, and Erdrich moved back there as well. The two began collaborating on

short stories, including one titled "The World’s Greatest Fisherman." When this

story won five thousand dollars in the Nelson Algren fiction competition, Erdrich and

Dorris decided to expand it into a novel — Love Medicine. At the same time,

their literary relationship led to a romantic one. In 1981 they were married.

The titles Erdrich and Dorris have chosen for their novels — such as Love

Medicine and A Yellow Raft in Blue Water — tend to be rich poetic or

visual images. The title is often the initial inspiration from which their novels are

drawn. Erdrich told Schumacher, "I think a title is like a magnet: It begins to draw

these scraps of experience or conversation or memory to it. Eventually, it collects a

book." Erdrich and Dorris’s collaboration process begins with a first draft, usually

written by whoever had the original idea for the book, the one who will ultimately be

considered the official author. After the draft is written, the other person edits it, and

then another draft is written; often five or six drafts will be written in all. Finally,

the two read the work aloud until they can agree on each word. Although the author has the

original voice and the final say, ultimately, both collaborators are responsible for what

the work becomes. This "unique collaborative relationship", according to Alice

Joyce in Booklist, is covered in Conversations with Louise Erdrich and Michael

Dorris, a collection of 25interviews with the couple. By 1997, when Dorris committed

suicide, the pair had separated and were no longer actively collaborating.

Erdrich’s novels Love Medicine, The Beet Queen, Tracks, The Bingo Palace, and Tales

of Burning Love encompass the stories of three interrelated families living in and

around a reservation in the fictional town of Argus, North Dakota, from 1912 through the

1980s. The novels have been compared to those of William Faulkner, mainly due to the

multi-voice narration and nonchronological storytelling which he employed in works such as

As I Lay Dying. Erdrich’s works, linked by recurring characters who are victims of

fate and the patterns set by their elders, are structured like intricate puzzles in which

bits of information about individuals and their relations to one another are slowly

released in a seemingly random order, until three-dimensional characters — with a

future and a past — are revealed. Through her characters’ antics, Erdrich explores

universal family life cycles while also communicating a sense of the changes and loss

involved in the twentieth-century Native American experience.

Poet Robert Bly, describing Erdrich’s nonlinear storytelling approach in the New

York Times Book Review, emphasized her tendency to "choose a few minutes or a day

in 1932, let one character talk, let another talk, and a third, then leap to 1941 and then

to 1950 or 1964." The novels’ circular format is a reflection of the way in which the

works are constructed. Although Erdrich is dealing with a specific and extensive time

period, "The writing doesn’t start out and proceed chronologically. It never seems to

start in the beginning. Rather, it’s as though we’re building something around a center,

but that center can be anywhere."

Erdrich published her first novel, Love Medicine, in 1984. "With this

impressive debut," stated New York Times Book Review contributor Marco

Portales, "Louise Erdrich enters the company of America’s better novelists." Love

Medicine was named for the belief in love potions which is a part of Chippewa

folklore. The novel explores the bonds of family and faith which preserve both the

Chippewa tribal community and the individuals that comprise it.

Reviewers responded positively to Erdrich’s debut novel, citing its lyrical qualities

as well asthe rich characters who inhabit it. New York Timescontributor D. J. R.

Bruckner was impressed with Erdrich’s "mastery of words," as well as the

"vividly drawn" characters who "will not leave the mind once they are let

in." Portales, who called Love Medicine "an engrossing book,"

applauded the unique narration technique which produces what he termed "a wondrous

prose song."

After the publication of Love Medicine, Erdrich told reviewers that her next

novel would focus less exclusively on her mother’s side, embracing the author’s mixed

heritage and the mixed community in which she grew up. Her 1986 novel, The Beet Queen,

deals with whites and half-breeds, as well as American Indians, and explores the

interactions between these worlds, tracing themes of separation and loss.

The Beet Queen was well-received by critics, some of whom found it even more

impressive than Love Medicine. Many noted the novel’s poetic language and

symbolism; Bly noted that Erdrich’s "genius is in metaphor," and that the

characters "show a convincing ability to feel an image with their whole bodies."

Josh Rubins, writing in New York Review of Books, called The Beet Queen

"a rare second novel, one that makes it seem as if the first, impressive as it was,

promised too little, not too much."

Other reviewers had problems with The Beet Queen, but they tended to dismiss the

novel’s flaws in light of its positive qualities. New Republic contributor Dorothy

Wickenden considered the characters unrealistic and the ending contrived, but she lauded The

Beet Queen’s "ringing clarity and lyricism," as well as the "assured,

polished quality" which she felt was missing in Love Medicine. Although

Michiko Kakutani found the ending artificial, the New York Times reviewer called

Erdrich "an immensely gifted young writer." "Even with its

weaknesses," proclaimed Linda Simon in Commonweal, " The Beet Queen

stands as a product of enormous talent."

After Erdrich completed The Beet Queen, she was uncertain as to what her next

project should be. The four-hundred-page manuscript that would eventually become Tracks

had remained untouched for ten years; the author referred to it as her "burden."

She and Dorris took a fresh look at it, and decided that they could relate it to Love

Medicine and The Beet Queen. While more political than her previous novels, Tracks,

Erdrich’s 1989 work, also deals with spiritual themes, exploring the tension between

the Native Americans’ ancient beliefs and the Christian notions of the Europeans. Tracks

takes place between 1912 and 1924, before the settings of Erdrich’s other novels, and

reveals the roots of Love Medicine’s characters and their hardships. At the center

of Tracks is Fleur, a character whom Los Angeles Times Book Review

contributor Terry Tempest Williams called "one of the most haunting presences in

contemporary American literature."

Reviewers found Tracks distinctly different from Erdrich’s earlier novels, and

some felt that her third novel lacked the characteristics that made Love Medicine

and The Beet Queen so outstanding. Washington Post Book World critic

Jonathan Yardley felt that, on account of its more political focus, the work has a

"labored quality." Robert Towers stated in New York Review of Books that

he found the characters too melodramatic and the tone too intense. Katherine Dieckmann,

writing in the Voice Literary Supplement, affirmed that she "missed

[Erdrich's] skilled multiplications of voice," and called the relationship between

Pauline and Nanapush "symptomatic of the overall lack of grand orchestration and

perspectival interplay that made Erdrich’s first two novels polyphonic masterpieces."

According to Commonweal contributor Christopher Vecsey, however,although "a

reviewer might find some of the prose overwrought, and the two narrative voices

indistinguishable … readers will appreciate and applaud the vigor and inventiveness of

the author."

Other reviewers enjoyed Tracks even more than the earlier novels. Williams

stated that Erdrich’s writing "has never appeared more polished and grounded,"

and added," Tracks may be the story of our time." Thomas M. Disch lauded

the novel’s plot, with its surprising twists and turns, in the Chicago Tribune. The

critic added, "Louise Erdrich is like one of those rumored drugs that are instantly

and forever addictive. Fortunately in her case you can just say yes."

Erdrich and Dorris’s jointly authored novel, The Crown of Columbus, explores

Native American issues from the standpoint of the authors’ current experience, rather than

the world of their ancestors. Marking the quincentennial anniversary of Spanish explorer

Christopher Columbus’s voyage in a not-so-celebratory fashion, Erdrich and Dorris raise

important questions about the meaning of that voyage for both Europeans and Native

Americans today.

Some reviewers found The Crown of Columbus unbelievable and inconsistent, and

considered it less praiseworthy than the individual authors’ earlier works. However, New

York Times Book Review contributor Robert Houston appreciated the work’s timely

political relevance. He also stated, "There are moments of genuine humor and

compassion, of real insight and sound satire." Other critics also considered Vivian

and Roger’s adventures amusing, vibrant, and charming.

Erdrich returned to the descendants of Nanapush with her 1994 novel, The Bingo

Palace. The fourth novel in the series which began with Love Medicine, The Bingo

Palace weaves together a story of spiritual pursuit with elements of modern

reservation life. Erdrich also provided continuity to the series by having the novel

primarily narrated by Lipsha Morrisey, the illegitimate son of June Kapshaw and Gerry

Nanapush from Love Medicine.

Reviewers’ comments on The Bingo Palace were generally positive. While Lawrence

Thornton in the New York Times Book Review found "some of the novel’s later

ventures into magic realism…contrived," his overall impression was more positive:

"Ms. Erdrich’s sympathy for her characters shines as luminously as Shawnee Ray’s

jingle dress." Pam Houston, writing for the Los Angeles Times Book Review, was

especially taken by the character of Lipsha Morrissey, finding in him "what makes

this her most exciting and satisfying book to date."

The Bingo Palace was also reviewed in the context of the series as a whole. Chicago

Tribune contributor Michael Upchurch concluded, "The Bingo Palace falls

somewhere between Tracks and The Beet Queen in its accomplishment." He

added, "The best chapters in The Bingo Palace rival, as Love Medicine

did, the work of Welty, Cheever, and Flannery O’Connor."

Erdrich turned to her own experience as mother of six for her next work, The Blue

Jay’s Dance. Her first book of nonfiction, The Blue Jay’s Dance chronicles

Erdrich’s pregnancy and the birth year of her child. The title refers to a blue jay’s

habit of defiantly "dancing" towards an attacking hawk, Erdrich’s metaphor for

"the sort of controlled recklessness that having children always is," noted Jane

Aspinall in Quill & Quire. Erdrich has been somewhat protective of her family’s

privacy and has stated the narrative actually describes a combination of her experience

with several of her children. Sue Halpern in the New York Times Book Review

remarked on this difficult balancing act between public and private lives but found

"Ms. Erdrich’s ambivalence inspires trust…and suggests that she is the kind of

mother whose story should be told."

Some reviewers averred that Erdrich’s description of the maternal relationship was a

powerful one: "the bond between mother and infant has rarely been captured so

well," commented a Kirkus Reviews contributor. While the subject of pregnancy

and motherhood is not a new one, Halpern noted that the book provided new insight into the

topic: "What makes The Blue Jay’s Dance worth reading is that it quietly

places a mother’s love and nurturance amid her love for the natural world and

suggests…how right that placement is." Although the Kirkus Reviews

contributor found The Blue Jay’s Dance to be "occasionally too self-conscious

about the importance of Erdrich’s role as Writer," others commented positively on the

book’s examination of the balance between the work of parenting and one’s vocation. A Los

Angeles Times reviewer remarked: "this book is really about working and having

children, staying alert and…focused through the first year of a child’s life."

Erdrich retained her focus on children with her first children’s book, Grandmother’s

Pigeon. Published in 1996, it is a fanciful tale of an adventurous grandmother who

heads to Greenland on the back of a porpoise, leaving behind grandchildren and three

bird’s eggs in her cluttered bedroom. The eggs hatch into passenger pigeons, thought to be

extinct, through which the children are able to send messages to their missing

grandmother. A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented, "As in her fiction for

adults…, Erdrich makes every word count in her bewitching debut children’s story."

Within the same year, Erdrich returned to the character of June Kasphaw of Love

Medicinein her sixth novel, Tales of Burning Love. More accurately, it is the

story of June’s husband, Jack Mauser, and his five (including June) ex-wives.

Reviewers continued to note Erdrich’s masterful descriptions and fine dialogue in this

work. According to Penelope Mesic in the Chicago Tribune, "Erdrich’s strength

is that she gives emotional states — as shifting and intangible, as indefinable as

wind — a visible form in metaphor." A Times Literary Supplement

contributor compared her to both Tobias Wolff — "(like him), she

is…particularly good at evoking American small-town life and the space that engulfs

it" — as well as Raymond Carver, noting her dialogues to be "small

exchanges that…map out the barely navigable distance between what’s heard, what’s meant,

and what’s said."

Tales of Burning Love also focuses Erdrich’s abilities on the relationship

between men and women. The Times Literary Supplement reviewer continued,

"Erdrich also shares Carver’s clear and sophisticated view of the more fundamental

distance between men and women, and how that, too, is negotiated." However, Mark

Childress in the New York Times Book Review commented that while "Jack’s wives

are vivid and fully realized…whenever (Jack’s) out of sight, he doesn’t seem as

interesting as the women who loved him."

While Erdrich covers familiar territory in Tales of Burning Love, she seems to

be expanding her focus slightly. Roxana Robinson in Washington Post Book World

remarked, "The landscape, instead of being somber and overcast…is vividly

illuminated by bolts of freewheeling lunacy: This is a mad Gothic comedy." Or as

Verlyn Klinkenborg noted in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, "this book

marks a shift in (Erdrich’s) career, a shift that is suggested rather than

fulfilled…there is new country coming into (her) sight, and this novel is her first

welcoming account of it."



Love Medicine, Holt, 1984, expanded edition, 1993.

The Beet Queen, Holt, 1986.

Tracks, Harper, 1988.

(With husband, Michael Dorris) The Crown of Columbus, HarperCollins, 1991.

The Bingo Palace, HarperCollins, 1994.

Tales of Burning Love, HarperCollins, 1996.


Jacklight, Holt, 1984.

Baptism of Desire, Harper, 1989.


Imagination (textbook), C. E. Merrill, 1980.

(Author of preface) Michael Dorris, The Broken Cord: A Family’s Ongoing Struggle with

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Harper, 1989.

(Author of preface) Desmond Hogan, A Link with the River, Farrar, Straus,1989.

(With Allan Richard Chavkin and Nancy Feyl Chavkin) Conversations with Louise Erdrich

and Michael Dorris, University Press of Mississippi (Jackson), 1994.

The Falcon: A Narrative of the Captivity and Adventures of John Tanner, Penguin

(New York City), 1994.

The Blue Jay’s Dance: A Birth Year (memoir), HarperCollins (New York City), 1995.

Grandmother’s Pigeon (children’s book), illustrated by Jim LaMarche, Hyperion (New

York City), 1996.

Author of short story, The World’s Greatest Fisherman; contributor to

anthologies, including the Norton Anthology of Poetry; Best American Short

Stories of 1981-83, 1983, and 1988; and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, in

1985 and 1987. Contributor of stories, poems, essays, and book reviews to periodicals,

including The New Yorker, New England Review, Chicago, American Indian Quarterly,

Frontiers, Atlantic, Kenyon Review, North American Review, New York Times Book Review,

Ms., Redbook (with her sister Heidi, under the joint pseudonym Heidi Louise), and Woman

(with Dorris, under the joint pseudonym Milou North).



Authors and Artists for Young Adults, Volume 10, Gale (Detroit), 1993.

Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale, Volume 39, 1986, Volume 54, 1989.

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 152: American Novelists since World War

II, Fourth Series, Gale, 1995.

Pearlman, Mickey, American Women Writing Fiction: Memory, Identity, Family, Space,

University Press of Kentucky, 1989, pp. 95-112.


America, May 14, 1994, p. 7.

American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 1987, pp. 51-73.

American Literature, September, 1990, pp. 405-22.

Belles Lettres, Summer, 1990, pp. 30-1.

Booklist, January 15, 1995, p. 893.

Chicago Tribune, September 4, 1988, pp. 1, 6; January 1, 1994, pp. 1, 9; April 21,

1996, pp. 1, 9.

College Literature, October, 1991, pp. 80-95.

Commonweal, October 24, 1986, pp. 565, 567; November 4, 1988, p. 596.

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 1996, p. 244; April 15, 1996, p. 600.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, October 5, 1986, pp. 3, 10; September 11, 1988, p.2;

May 12, 1991, pp. 3, 13; February 6, 1994, p. 1, 13; May 28, 1995, p. 8; June 16, 1996,


Nation, October 21, 1991, pp. 465, 486-90.

New Republic, October 6, 1986, pp. 46-48; January 6-13, 1992, pp. 30-40.

Newsday, November 30, 1986.

New York Review of Books, January 15, 1987, pp. 14-15; November 19, 1988, pp.

40-41; May 12, 1996, p. 10.

New York Times, December 20, 1984, p. C21; August 20, 1986, p. C21; August 24,

1988, p. 41; April 19, 1991, p. C25.

New York Times Book Review, August 31, 1982, p. 2; December 23, 1984, p. 6; October

2, 1988, pp. 1, 41-42; April 28, 1991, p. 10; July 20, 1993, p. 20; January 16, 1994, p.7;

April 16, 1995, p.14.

People, June 10, 1991, pp. 26-27.

Playboy, March, 1994, p. 30.

Publishers Weekly, August 15, 1986, pp. 58-59; April 22, 1996, p. 71.

Quill & Quire, August, 1995, p. 30.

Time, February 7, 1994, p. 71.

Times Literary Supplement, February 14, 1997, p. 21.

Voice Literary Supplement, October, 1988, p. 37.

Washington Post Book World, August 31, 1986, pp. 1, 6; September 18, 1988, p. 3;

February 6, 1994, p. 5; April 21, 1996, p. 3.

Western American Literature, February, 1991, pp. 363-64.

Writer’s Digest, June, 1991, pp. 28-31.*

Source: Contemporary Authors New Revision Series, Volume 62, Gale, 1998.

Copyright ? 2001 by Gale Group, Inc. Online Source


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