The Bingo Palace

The Bingo Palace

Paperback

By (author) Louise Erdrich

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  • Publisher: HarperPerennial
  • Format: Paperback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 192mm x 22mm | 222g
  • Publication date: 3 May 1995
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0006547095
  • ISBN 13: 9780006547099
  • Sales rank: 826,830

Product description

A reissue of a much-loved classic, from one of America's most celebrated novelists, winner of the prestigious National Book Award for Fiction in 2012. Seeking direction and enlightenment, Lipsha Morrissey, a charismatic young drifter, answers his grandmother's summons to return to his birthplace. As he tries to settle into a challenging new job on the reservation, he falls passionately in love for the first time. But the object of his desire, the beautiful Shawnee Ray, is in the midst of deciding whether to marry his boss, the wealthy reservation entrepreneur, Lyman Lamartine. Matters are further complicated when Lipsha discovers that Lyman is his rival in more ways than one. In league with an influential group of aggressive businessmen, Lyman has chosen to open a gambling complex on reservation land - a development which threatens to destroy the community's fundamental links with the past...

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Author information

Louise Erdrich is one of the most gifted, prolific, and challenging of American novelists. Her fiction reflects aspects of her mixed heritage: German through her father, and French and Ojibwa through her mother. She is the author of many novels, the first of which, "Love Medicine", won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the last of which, "The Round House", won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2012. She lives in Minnesota.

Review quote

'Louise Erdrich is the most interesting American novelist to have appeared in years.' Philip Roth 'Erdrich's prose has a compelling pulse to it. It is fluent and seductive, with the vigour and erotic potency of good rock music.' Sunday Times 'Beautiful ... 'The Bingo Palace' shows us a place where love, fate and chance are woven together like a braid.' New York Times 'In its empathy, its poetry and its sheer narrative power, 'The Bingo Palace' confirms Erdrich as one of the greatest composers writing today.' Independent on Sunday 'The power of Louise Erdrich's writing lies in the clear access she has to her characters' thoughts and feelings, and her ability to translate those feelings into words that are both poetic and unforced. 'The Bingo Palace' is a beautiful novel, mysterious and revelatory, from a powerful American voice.' Erica Wagner, The Times

Editorial reviews

Plucked from the revolving carousel of Erdrich's Chippewa characters now is Lipsha Morrissey - the good-for-nothing doofus son of much-escaped convict Gerry Nanapush and spooky June Kapshaw - who's been batting around off the reservation but returns and promptly falls stone in love with Shawnee Ray, a single mother half-pledged to the tribe's gambling-casino entrepreneur, the much older Lyman Lamartine. Lipsha's ardor is transcendental, biblical, greater-than-great; but Shawnee could take him or leave him - and does both. To win her wholly, Lipsha (who works at Lyman's bingo parlor) will go to any length, including subjecting himself to a vision-contest with Lyman - from which he returns sprayed on by a skunk. Finally, it's miracles and love medicine and spirit intercessions that bring everything into harmony - and that Erdrich, as ever, wants to celebrate. Yet unlike the precise, slapstick comedics of The Beet Queen (1986), here the doings are all overdetermined by the slap and slather of Erdrich's lyricism. There's no palpable Lipsha, no solid Shawnee - or Lyman or Gerry - but instead the artificial pressurizations of the strenuous style: "The not yet of his potential life was the perfect match for Shawnee's I am, her is, he reasoned, while Lyman's always was fit precisely with the no doubt of some other unnamed and successful woman." The skunk-episode and a late car-stealing scene involving a baby in the backseat have the zip and shading of accidents admiringly transfigured - but hardly anything else is that liberated. Erdrich, unusual for her, even resorts to sermonizing about gambling's malign effect on the reservation. Lots of fancy molding here, swirls and gewgaws - but an insubstantial palace in the end. (Kirkus Reviews)