Good Minds Suggest—Louise Erdrich's Favorite Native American Books

October, 2012

Louise Erdrich Novelist Louise Erdrich credits the Ojibwa (also known as Chippewa) tradition of storytelling as the catalyst for her writing career, which includes a memoir, children's books, and 14 novels as well as volumes of poetry and short stories. Known for her intricate characterizations and measured exploration of the Native American experience, the Minnesota writer has penned the award-winning novel Love Medicine and The Beet Queen, among others. Her independent bookstore, Birchbark Books in Minneapolis, specializes in Native American literature. In Erdrich's latest foray, The Round House, a hate crime causes upheaval in a North Dakotan Ojibwa community. Narrated by the victim's 13-year-old son, the novel builds tension as the boy seeks justice for his mother. Erdrich shares her favorite books that spin tales true to Native American heritage.

How We Became Human by Joy Harjo (Goodreads Author)
"A headlong expression of love and praise for creation from a beautiful warrior."


War Dances by Sherman Alexie
"Your father is freezing in his hospital bed, the nurse gives you a tissue-thin cotton blanket. If you are an Indian, you find another Indian, hoping there will be blankets—classic Alexie. You laugh, you cry."


Winter in the Blood by James Welch
"This book should be on all college reading lists. For spare veracity it cannot be beat. But all of Welch's books are great—including The Heartsong of Charging Elk, his final book."


Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
"The road that runs between this world and the next world. A powerful story of return from the Great War."


The Grass Dancer by Susan Power
"A magical tangle of stories, myth, and truth."



Vote for your own favorites on Listopia: Best Native American Fiction



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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Darlene (new)

Darlene Playing Indian by Sherman Alexie (I believe I'm correct about the author); tragic/hilarious.


message 2: by Tom (new)

Tom Vinson I would consider Three Day Road a must read for anyone who can face reading about WWI.


message 3: by Lani (new)

Lani Parker I will have to check these out.


message 4: by Kame (new)

Kame Richard Wagamese is an amazing Canadian Aboriginal writer.


message 5: by Urbanista (new)

Urbanista Island of the Blue Dolphins. Really amazing for a little girl.


message 6: by Dani (new)

Dani She Who Remembers by Linda Lay Shuler, Mother Earth Father Sky by Sue Harrison and Sacajawea by Anna Lee Waldo are my fave Native American novels.


message 7: by Darlene (new)

Darlene these all sound great. I will have to go looking when I get a minute to breathe! :D


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