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The Night Watchman

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  25 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Based on the extraordinary life of National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich’s grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C., this powerful novel explores themes of love and death with lightness and gravity and unfolds with the elegant prose, sly humor, and depth ...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Harper
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Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
It felt so wonderful to be back in the hands of a master storyteller and that is Louise Erdrich. The characters are extremely well developed and I felt as though I knew them all, I didn’t want to leave this story. The setting for a novel about American Indians in the 1950’s is a unique one, often books are about the start of our “elimination” of the Indians.I wanted to know everything about the reservation, the new bill that Congress was going to pass and how these incredible characters with all ...more
Diana
Most books about native Americans are set either in the “olden days”, before reservations, or in the present day, so I found this book’s 1950s setting really fascinating. The lives of the older people in this book have straddled this huge, astonishing change. What must it have been like to lose what they lost in one lifetime? To go from being hunters and gatherers to being catapulted into the 1950s, with cars and TVs and manufactured everything? The older characters are connected to traditional ...more
Morgan Bradham
Ahhh!!! This comes out the day after my birthday! ((internal screaming)) I've never read any Native American historical fiction set in the 1950s. I've never found any. (Can anyone recommend one to me)? Anyway, I'M SO PUMPED. Louise Erdrich is freaking amazing, to boot. Absolutely cannot wait!
Amanda
Received an ARC copy in a Goodreads giveaway.
This is probably the best novel I've read by Erdrich. Her writing, as ever, is gorgeous and subtle and has a way of sneaking up on you. Like most of her stories, this is historical, set in the 1950s, during the age of termination. The main two characters are a tribal chairman, who is fighting termination and who is also the night watchman of a factory on the reservation; and his niece, who works at the same factory, who is taking care of her family
...more
Linda
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
No one writes better of the American Indian experience in the past century than Louise Erdrich. Because this novel is part biographical, it carries the weight of truth of the US government's ongoing efforts to terminate tribes and their rights under legally signed and recognized treaties. That includes a recent effort by our current president and the Interior Department to terminate yet another tribe. Yet, the spirit of the story is of a close-knit people who survive, laugh, and love. This novel ...more
Gary
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Louise Erdrich explores life on the reservation with her usual eye for character and the telling detail. In this case, the reservation was Chippewa and the time was the 1950s. The tribe is threatened with extinction by its most formidable enemy -- the US Congress. The tribal elder (the night watchman of the title) puts together evidence and a delegation to try to convince Washington that it is wrong. As it happens, this was a factual episode out of the author's family past. It is a heartening ...more
Sarah-Hope
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweissplus, 2019
Louise Erdrich's The Night Watchman in the best book I've read in years. Over the days that I've read it, it has stayed with me, almost like being in its own right, drawing my attention, suggesting a different perspective, leading me to smile at the wonders this world holds. This may sound like hyperbole, but it is not. Last night, I work up at 3a.m., wide awake and ready to dive back into The Night Watchman. I didn't want to wait until morning, until I'd had "enough" rest to return to it.

...more
Barbara
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this book is amazing. Set in the 1950's the novel tells of the US government's efforts to terminate the rights of Native American tribes and their rights to land. The main character, Thomas, is based on Louise Erdrich's father who did fight termination. The characters are wonderfully developed, the story fascinating, and the writing extraordinary. It's tells a part of US history not taught in schools. It's very relevant to what is happening in the US today. This is a book you won't be able ...more
Barbara
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this book is amazing. Set in the 1950's the novel tells of the US government's efforts to terminate the rights of Native American tribes and their rights to land. The main character, Thomas, is based on Louise Erdrich's father who did fight termination. The characters are wonderfully developed, the story fascinating, and the writing extraordinary. It's tells a part of US history not taught in schools. It's very relevant to what is happening in the US today. This is a book you won't be able ...more
Cathy
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: goodreads
The Night Watchman is a wonderfully written novel about some members of a native american tribe living in North Dakota in the early 1950's. The book is beautifully written and I found it educational. There is not much written about the plight of the native american in more modern times. It is a disgrace that the government is still stealing land and making the lives of the people who are the original inhabitants of this nation so miserable. Ms. Erdrich is a great story teller and I believe ...more
Emily Onufer
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of this book through the Goodreads Giveaways program. Louise Erdrich once again interweaves fascinating characters with complex histories together to illustrate how termination and U.S. government actions impacted individual lives. Her writing allows the reader to both connect with a diverse cast of characters and get a glimpse of reservation life at a fraught time in the nation's history. The Night Watchman is a snapshot into a dark chapter in U.S. law and politics, and is an ...more
Karlan
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
The story is inspired by the author's grandfather's life. There are many wonderful characters such as Pixie, a pretty and intelligent 18 year old, her perceptive mother, her lost older sister and the men who court them. Thomas, the watchman, must travel to Washington to argue for the tribal land which is threatened by people who do not understand the way of life which would be lost.
Kristen Stewart
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fantastical and beautiful work that I've been thinking about long after I finished reading.
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Karen Louise Erdrich is a American author of novels, poetry, and children's books. Her father is German American and mother is half Ojibwe and half French American. She is an enrolled member of the Anishinaabe nation (also known as Chippewa). She is widely acclaimed as one of the most significant Native writers of the second wave of what critic Kenneth Lincoln has called the Native American ...more