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An Evening with the Author

Louise Erdrich possesses one of the most original and unique literary voices in America today. By using her own Native American descent as a major inspiration for her work, Erdrich taps into themes and imagery unknown to most other contemporary authors. She is the author of many literary works ranging from novels to poetry to children's books, and won the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Award in 1984 for Love Medicine (1984), the first novel in a fictional tetralogy focusing on Native American and European-immigrant families over three decades in North Dakota.

Erdrich herself was raised in North Dakota as the daughter of an Ojibwa Indian woman and a German-American man, and she entered the first coeducational class of Dartmouth College in 1972 through the college's Native American Studies program. After graduating from Dartmouth with a degree in anthropology she studied creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, graduating with her Masters Degree in 1979. Only a few years later she won the Nelson Algren fiction competition, and her first book of poetry, entitled Jacklight, was published in 1984. To this day Erdrich continues her exploration of individual identity and small community dynamics with a distinctive style that has remained as exciting and novel as when her work first appeared on the American literary scene.