Louise Erdrich is an American author of novels, poetry and children’s books, most frequently focusing on Native American Indian culture and society. She is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, which is a band of the Anishinaabe (also known as the Ojibwe and Chippewa).
Erdrich’s first novel was Love Medicine in 1984, written in collaboration with her then-husband Michael Dorris, and was an expansion of a prize-winning short story the two had written together, “The World’s Greatest Fisherman”. Shortly after the publication of Love Medicine, Erdrich produced her first collection of poetry, Jacklight (also 1984). Love Medicine has turned out to be the first in a series of interconnected novels known as the Love Medicine series.
Erdrich has also written a trio of novels known collectively as The Justice Trilogy, the second of which, The Round House (2012) was a past One Book – One Lincoln finalist for our citywide reading program.
Erdrich’s novels feature intricate plots, which often don’t follow a completely linear pattern, and multi-layered characters. Her stories often focus on people whose lives fall on the edges of society, and her characters live difficult, often unhappy lives. Erdrich has an ear for realistic dialog, and critics have noted that this is a strength in her writing. She weaves her Native American heritage into most of her writing, telling the stories of American Indians — frequently in rural North Dakota — struggling with weighty life issues. She also often weaves a thread of spirituality through her stories, including both Christianity and Native American spiritual beliefs.
The authors listed below write works in a similar style to Erdrich, although some may not focus primarily on the Native American culture. Authors with an * next to their names are probably the closest to Lewis in style and tone. The author names are hotlinked to their holdings in our catalog, so that you may check on the availability of their titles in print, electronic or audio formats. This category of publishing has over 60 different authors who have found success in the past 20 years. This list includes the authors with multiple volumes in the Lincoln City Libraries collection, and is by no means exhaustively complete.
Sherman Alexie *
Paula Gunn Allen
Ivan Doig *
Michael Dorris (Erdrich’s literary collaborator, and husband from 1981 until they separated in 1995)
N. Scott Momaday
Sena Jeter Naslund
Annie Proulx *
Richard Russo *
Leslie Marmon Silko