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Summary

Summary

The Round House won the National Book Award for fiction.

One of the most revered novelists of our time--a brilliant chronicler of Native-American life--Louise Erdrich returns to the territory of her bestselling, Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves with The Round House, transporting readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family.

Riveting and suspenseful, arguably the most accessible novel to date from the creator of Love Medicine, The Beet Queen, and The Bingo Palace, Erdrich's The Round House is a page-turning masterpiece of literary fiction--at once a powerful coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a tender, moving novel of family, history, and culture.


Author Notes

Karen Louise Erdrich was born on June 7, 1954 in Little Falls, Minnesota. Erdrich grew up in Wahpeton, North Dakota, where both of her parents were employed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. Erdrich graduated from Dartmouth College in 1976 with an AB degree, and she received a Master of Arts in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University in 1979.

Erdrich published a number of poems and short stories from 1978 to 1982. In 1981 she married author and anthropologist Michael Dorris, and together they published The World's Greatest Fisherman, which won the Nelson Algren Award in 1982. In 1984 she won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Love Medicine, which is an expansion of a story that she had co-written with Dorris. Love Medicine was also awarded the Virginia McCormick Scully Prize (1984), the Sue Kaufman Prize (1985) and the Los Angeles Times Award for best novel (1985).

In addition to her prose, Erdrich has written several volumes of poetry, a textbook, children's books, and short stories and essays for popular magazines. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for professional excellence, including the National Magazine Fiction Award in 1983 and a first-prize O. Henry Award in 1987. Erdrich has also received the Pushcart Prize in Poetry, the Western Literacy Association Award, the 1999 World Fantasy Award, and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction in 2006. In 2007 she refused to accept an honorary doctorate from the University of North Dakota in protest of its use of the "Fighting Sioux" name and logo.

Erdrich's novel The Round House made the New York Times bestseller list in 2013. Her other New York Times bestsellers include Future Home of the Living God (2017).

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* In her intensely involving fourteenth novel, Erdrich writes with brio in the voice of a man reliving the fateful summer of his thirteenth year. The son of a tribal judge, Bazil, and a tribal enrollment specialist, Geraldine, Joe Coutts is an attentively loved and lucky boy until his mother is brutally beaten and raped. Erdrich's profound intimacy with her characters electrifies this stunning and devastating tale of hate crimes and vengeance, her latest immersion in the Ojibwe and white community she has been writing about for more than two decades. As Joe and his father try to help Geraldine heal and figure out who attacked her and why, Erdrich dissects the harsh realities of an imperiled yet vital culture and unjust laws reaching back to a tragedy in her earlier novel The Plague of Doves (2008). But it is Joe's awakening to the complexities and traumas of adult life that makes this such a beautifully warm and wise novel.Through Joe's hilarious and unnerving encounters with his ex-stripper aunt, bawdy grandmothers, and a marine turned Catholic priest; Joe's dangerous escapades with his loyal friends; and the spellbinding stories told by his grandfather, Mooshum, a favorite recurring character, Erdrich covers a vast spectrum of history, cruel loss, and bracing realizations. A preeminent tale in an essential American saga. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Best-selling Erdrich's exceptional new novel will be actively promoted with a national tour and a coordinated blog tour as well as extensive print, radio, and social-media appearances.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

When Geraldine Coutts, a Native American woman living on a North Dakota reservation, is assaulted and raped, she retreats into solitude. Her husband, Antone, a tribal judge, tries in vain to find the culprit while her 13-year-old son Joe begins his own investigation. Actor Gary Farmer turns in a workmanlike performance of Erdrich's literary mystery. He reads in crisp, clear tones-though occasionally he enunciates so carefully the narration sounds stilted and slows the pace of the story. Farmer struggles to lend unique voices to the book's characters-and this is particularly unfortunate given the rich, varied cast. Farmer provides the bulk of the characters with vocal pacing and verbal idiosyncrasies that don't differ from his narration. And this makes it extremely difficult for listeners to keep track of who is talking to whom and under what circumstances. A Harper hardcover. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Thirteen-year-old Joe lives happily on a reservation in North Dakota with his tribal judge father, his mother, and their close-knit community. A single act of violence cleaves his family, leaving his mother an isolated rape victim, his father preoccupied with an unattainable justice, and Joe, reeling in the aftermath, left to draw his own conclusions about what must be done. This New York Times best seller is undoubtedly well written, with carefully crafted, believable characters who evolve throughout the story. Gary Farmer provides solid narration, with the exception of a few irksome mispronunciations of local place names. Verdict The book is highly recommended for all collections. Read-a-likes include previous works by the author, some of which share characters with this work, or those by David Treuer, who also writes on Native American themes. ["Erdrich skillfully makes Joe's coming-of-age both universal and specific," read the review of the New York Times best-selling Harper hc, LJ 8/12.-Ed.]-Lisa Anderson, Omaha P.L. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-Sovereign nation status, racism, and perseverance are the prominent themes in this exceptional novel told from the vantage point of Joe, an Ojibwe boy whose mother has been raped. Set in 1988 in North Dakota, this is an especially timely story as society considers legislation on violence against women. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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