TEST TEST Rediscover: Love Medicine

Native American writer Louise Erdrich's debut novel, Love Medicine (1984), follows five Ojibwe families on fictional reservations in North Dakota and Minneapolis. It begins in 1981 with the death of June Morrissey on her way home for Easter Sunday, and ends in 1985 when her former husband reunites with their son. The chapters between are layers of interconnected stories beginning in 1934. These alternating first-person viewpoints focus on the Kashpaws, Lamartines and Morrisseys, with appearances by the peripheral Pillagers and the Lazarres, as their lives intersect across generations in positive and negative ways--even as a love triangle. Erdrich's characters struggle with individual and tribal identities, as well as what it means to belong to a community. She wrote several more books about the families introduced in Love Medicine: The Beet Queen (1986), Tracks (1988), The Bingo Palace (1994), Tales of Burning Love (1997), The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse (2001), Four Souls (2004) and The Painted Drum (2005).

Erdrich has twice revised Love Medicine since its initial publication, first in 1993 then 2009, sometimes adding or removing whole chapters. Among many other accolades, it won the 1984 National Book Critics Circle Award. A paperback of the latest version of Love Medicine was published in 2016 by Harper Perennial ($16.99). --Tobias Mutter

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