Medicine and others of Erdrich’s works – is also demonstrated in the critical archive, which continues to devote a deal of attention to her work. A glance at the programmes for the 2009 NativeAmericanLiterature Symposium (Chicago, 26–28 February) and the 2009 meeting of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (Minnesota, 21–23 May), records five individual papers, more than any of the other ‘majors’ in NativeAmericanliterature – N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko, James Welch, Gerald Vizenor (whose work was the subject of a special panel at NAISA
Louise Erdrich is one of the most critically and commercially successful Native American writers. This book is a fully comprehensive treatment of her writing, analysing the textual complexities and diverse contexts of her work to date. Drawing on the critical archive relating to Erdrich's work and Native American literature, it explores the full depth and range of her authorship. Breaking Erdrich's oeuvre into several groupings – poetry, early and late fiction, memoir and children's writing – it develops individual readings of both the critical arguments and the texts themselves. The book argues that Erdrich's work has developed an increasing political acuity to the relationship between ethics and aesthetics in Native American literature, and her insistence on being read as an American writer is shown to be in constant and mutually inflecting dialogue with her Ojibwe heritage.
defence and Erdrich’s early expressions of allegiance, though sincere, were brief and focused primarily on the accusations of child abuse. The narrative, therefore, is largely onesided but it cannot go without being told since those first five novels at least, held by so many at the time to ‘set the pace’ for NativeAmericanliterature, owed so much to his input. Again, Cook-Lynn most vocally highlights what she sees as a series of deceptions in his character: his claim to Modoc ancestry, when there is no record of any Dorris ever having been registered on the Klamath
A world of difference: religion, literary form, and the negotiation of conflict in early modern England
Jonathan Baldo and Isabel Karremann
Turn: Announcing the New ELN, covering not only what it called the ‘Theo-Political
Renaissance’ but also much besides, from medieval studies to contemporary Latina
fiction and contemporary poetry and a roundtable on Joanna Brooks’s American
Lazarus: Religion and the Rise of African-American and NativeAmericanLiteratures.
See Literary History and the Religious Turn, B. Holsinger (ed.), a special issue of
English Language Notes, 44.1 (Spring, 2006), 1. The turn in early modern studies,
however, has been undoubtedly sharper than the soft turn
Criticism has made much of the bicultural nature of Erdrich’s fiction, despite what Vine Deloria Jr. (Lakota) sees as its potentially damaging tensions for those living with its connotations. 1 The dichotomous aspect of biculturalism – that resultant idea of being something of two cultures and not quite of either – is explored repeatedly in NativeAmericanliteratures, not least by Erdrich. Indeed, P. Jane Hafen notes that ‘the ritual recounting in “Jacklight” intimates that, as cultures change, the complexity of the universe becomes
The Love Medicine tetralogy and Tales of Burning Love
own life. These starkly individualised characterisations are common in Native writing, ubiquitous even, and deeply entrenched in the signifying phrase ‘NativeAmericanliterature’. The drifters, nomads, ‘passers’ (Nector in a sense, along with Jack in Tales ), whether white or Indian, populate the pages of Erdrich’s novels, while those characters close to the ‘centre’ of tribal culture such as Fleur and Moses Pillager, even Eli Kashpaw and, to a degree, Nanapush himself, are, with the exception of Tracks , frequently presented in peripheral terms, often
non-Native audiences (1996b: 68).
Of course Treuer’s critique calls not least for acknowledgement of the literariness of NativeAmericanliterature. In that sense The Painted Drum ’s narrative structure conforms to the literary devices of the picaresque or episodic novel and the story cycle, whose origins span numerous cultural traditions. One recent intertext for this kind of narrative device, exploring immigrant experience through the relayed ownership of an assortment of accordions, is E. Annie Proulx’s The Accordion Crimes . There