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Guide Louise Erdrich

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In the three and a half years since, Erdrich—whose 14 novels include her first, Love Medicine , which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, and her most recent, The Round House , which won the National Book Award—has become increasingly alarmed about our souring relationship with the earth and the looming prospect of an ultimate breakup. Climate change haunts her, as does the environmental damage being inflicted on the landscape of her childhood, which she sees regularly when visiting friends and family in North Dakota.

She cannot contain herself when it comes to fossil-fuel companies and their fiery oil fields, their pipelines carrying fracked oil, their fleets of massive, lumbering trucks clogging roads and spewing pollution into the air. The land is becoming utterly fouled.

Louise Erdrich: A Reading and a Conversation

Nobody drinks the water, reservation ditches have become dumps for radioactive material too expensive to dispose of properly and there are accidents almost every day, often agonizing fatalities, involving oil tankers. Last summer Erdrich, who grew up in Wahpeton, North Dakota, and is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa also known as Ojibwa Indians, drove to see friends on the Fort Berthold Indian reservation in the western part of the state.

The day before I visited, an oil tanker had plowed into wild horses and scattered them, screaming and dying, across the highway. Even worse is the oil-boom town of Williston, a two-and-a-half-hour drive northwest of Fort Berthold. Erdrich agreed to grant DAM an interview only if she could issue a call for the College to divest itself of stock in companies with significant holdings in fossil fuels.

A clear signal on divestment would show that the College understands the challenges of climate change and is not going to contribute to making our world hot, dangerous and diminished. Erdrich was an early supporter of Divest Dartmouth, a student-led group formed in January that published a list of companies with fossil-fuel holdings, at least a dozen of which count Dartmouth among their investors. As she eloquently explains, when it comes to climate change there is no bigger, more important issue facing society today.


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Erdrich agrees. In terms of moral leadership, I think divesting of fossil fuels is the next big statement. The College has the opportunity to again lead the way.

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We need people who can creatively manage money to do good in the world. He sees it as an outgrowth of her Native American heritage and her writing. Both her parents had a small carbon footprint long before that concept was invented. He and my mother have an enormous garden. She cans the extra food every year and fills her freezer with still more.

Louise Erdrich | Poetry Foundation

Erdrich, too, treads the earth lightly. That year was not only the first for Dartmouth as an officially coed institution but, as important to Erdrich, also the year the College recommitted to its original mission of educating Native students and instituted its Native American studies program. It was in Hanover that Erdrich, a creative writing major, began writing seriously, and where she found the first champions of what would become her storied literary career.

Alan Gaylord was my first literature professor, and the canonical texts I read were vital to all else. I studied in London with professor Brenda Silver.


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    Erdrich also studied philosophy with the late Victor Menza, who asked why she always fell asleep in his morning class. I could tell from his face that he wanted to raise my grade just for serving 1, Dartmouth breakfasts. He gestured with his hands open, his head to the side.


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    Also nominated as a finalist in Fiction in :. A memorable novel that focuses on the senior class at an exclusive all-girl Manhattan prep school where a beloved student battles a rare cancer, fiercely honest, carefully observed and subtly rendered. An ingeniously structured narrative that branches and canopies like the trees at the core of the story whose wonder and connectivity echo those of the humans living amongst them. A generous book, musical in its prose and expansive in its structure and range, about growing older and the essential nature of love.

    For a smart melding of realism and allegory that combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America. A layered immigrant tale told in the wry, confessional voice of a "man of two minds" -- and two countries, Vietnam and the United States.

    Louise Erdrich discusses her new novel, ‘Future Home of the Living God’

    For its masterful, groundbreaking coverage of America's deepening military and political challenges in Afghanistan and Pakistan, reporting frequently done under perilous condition. A searing drama set in chaotic Congo that compels audiences to face the horror of wartime rape and brutality while still finding affirmation of life and hope amid hopelessness. For "PolitiFact," its fact-checking initiative during the presidential campaign that used probing reporters and the power of the World Wide Web to examine more than political claims, separating rhetoric from truth to enlighten voters.

    Moved by the Board to the National Reporting category. For her moving, richly detailed story of a neglected little girl, found in a roach-infested room, unable to talk or feed herself, who was adopted by a new family committed to her nurturing. Close Cookie Notice. This website uses cookies as well as similar tools and technologies to understand visitors' experiences. By continuing to use this website, you consent to Columbia University's usage of cookies and similar technologies, in accordance with the Columbia University Website Cookie Notice.

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