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The Plague of Doves

The Plague of Doves

Paperback

By (author) Louise Erdrich

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  • Publisher: HarperPerennial
  • Format: Paperback | 356 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 196mm x 24mm | 222g
  • Publication date: 6 May 2008
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0007270763
  • ISBN 13: 9780007270767
  • Sales rank: 64,022

Product description

A beautiful, compelling, utterly original new novel from one of the most important American writers of our time, and winner of the National Book Award for Fiction, 2012 Pluto, North Dakota, is a town on the verge of extinction. Here, everybody is connected - by love or friendship, by blood, and, most importantly, by the burden of a shared history. Growing up on the reservation is Evelina Harp, witty and ambitious, and prone to falling hopelessly in love. Listening to her grandfather's tales, she learns of a horrific crime that has marked both Ojibwe and whites. Nobody understands it better than Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, who keeps watch over Pluto's inhabitants and recounts their lives with compassion and rare insight. Louise Erdrich's sense of the comic and the tragic sweeps readers along to the surprising conclusion of this stunning novel, a portrait of the complex allegiances, passions and drama of a haunting land and its all-too-human people.

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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's imaginative freedom has reached its zenith - 'The Plague of Doves' is her dazzling masterpiece.' Philip Roth 'A masterly new novel ... Writing in prose that combines the magical sleight of hand of Gabriel Garcia Marquez with the earthy, American rhythms of Faulkner, Ms. Erdrich ... has written what is arguably her most ambitious - and in many ways, her most deeply affecting - work yet.' Michiko Kakutani, New York Times 'Confirms her reputation as a writer able to combine the apocalyptic with the mundane world whose inhabitants are set loose to roam the heavens in spirit but are ballasted always by their defiantly human bodies.' Observer 'You could read Louise Erdrich's latest book for its wisdom ... Or you could read 'The Plague of Doves' for its poetry ... in the end, you'll read this book for its stories ... The stories told by her characters offer pleasures of language, of humor, of sheer narrative momentum, that shine even in the darkest moments of the book.' Boston Globe 'Wholly felt and exquisitely rendered tales of memory and magic ... By the novel's end, and in classic Erdrich fashion, every luminous fragment has been assembled into an intricate tapestry that deeply satisfies the mind, the heart, and the spirit.' O magazine

Editorial reviews

The latest Erdrich novel (The Painted Drum, 2005, etc.) about the Ojibwes and the whites they live among in North Dakota spirals around a terrible multiple murder that reverberates down through generations of a community.In the 1960s, Evelina Harp's Ojibwe grandfather, Mooshum, tells mesmerizing stories of his past. Having found a murdered family and saved the surviving baby, Mooshum and three Ojibwe friends were blamed for the killings and lynched by a mob of local whites in 1911. For reasons not immediately apparent, Mooshum was spared at the last moment, but his friends died. Evelina's first boyfriend is Corwin Peace, whose ancestor was one of those lynched. Her favorite teacher, a nun, descends from one of the mob leaders. And Evelina's middle-class parents of mixed heritage straddle the two cultures. Aunt Neve Harp sent her banker husband, who is Corwin's father, to prison after he arranged Neve's kidnapping by Corwin's then teenage uncle Billy in a phony ransom subplot (a little reminiscent of the movie Fargo). Spiritual Billy evolves into the tyrannical leader of a religious cult until his wife Marn Wolde, the daughter of farmers whose land he's taken over, kills him to save her children. While in college Evelina ends up briefly in a mental hospital where she gets to know Marn's lunatic uncle Warren. Corwin, under the positive influence of Judge Coutts and his new wife, Evelina's Aunt Geraldine, becomes a musician playing the same violin that once belonged to his ancestors. Judge Coutts's previous lover Cordelia, an older woman and a doctor who won't treat Indians, was once saved by Mooshum and his friends. Guilt and redemption pepper these self-sufficient, intertwining stories, and readers who can keep track of the characters will find their efforts rewarded. The magic lies in the details of Erdrich's ever-replenishing mythology, whether of a lost stamp collection or a boy's salvation.A lush, multilayered book. (Kirkus Reviews)