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Louise Erdrich

About Louise

Louise was born in Little Falls, Minnesota on July 6, 1954 but grew up in North Dakota. As a child her parents always encouraged her to write them stories. Her dad would even pay her a nickel a story and her mother would help illustrate the pictures. Erdrich went to Dartmouth college in 1972 and majored in English and creative writing. Where she took an interest in the Native Americans study program which was taught by Micheal Dorris. Upon getting her bachelors degree she went on to get her master at John Hopkins University.

            While pursuing her master’s degree she began writing a novel and poem that would later be published. In 1981, Erdrich returned to Dartmouth and became a writer-in-residence for the Native Americans study program. Later that year Michael and Louise married. The pair began writing novels together and Dorris became Louise’s agent. Although they wrote together the pairs names were only on two novels.

As a daughter of a Chippewa Indian mother and German-american father, her books contain a Native American theme. She does use major characteristics from both sides of her heredity in her writing though. Erdrich writes her fiction by exploring the problems native americans or mixed heritiage americans face in the modern day. Erdrich has won many awards for her writings.

(poetry foundation)

In 1982, Louise won the Nelson Algren Fiction award for her book “The World’s Greatest Fisherman”. That is not the only award Erdrich has won. She also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for “Love Medicine”, the Pushcart Prize in poetry, the O. Henry Prize for short fiction and the Western Literary Association Award.

(University of Nebraska- lincoln)

“We do know that no one gets wise enough to really understand the heart of another, though it is the task of our life to try.”

-Louise Erdrich

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love.”

Louise Erdrich

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