Shopping cart is empty.

Birchbark Blog

Thank You, Pilgrims

Louise Erdrich - Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thank you, Pilgrims!

No, not buckle pilgrims -- book pilgrims.

 Our little bookstore would never survive without the Pilgrims who come to visit us from every part of the world.  Thank you for coming to visit us.  Thank you for drinking coffee at the Kenwood Cafe.  Thank you for sitting in the reading chairs and for telling us how and why you came to Birchbark Books.  Thank you for sharing the green stuff that lubricates the wheels of civilization.  Over the summer and fall, we've have visitors from Italy, Canada, China, Germany, England, Nigeria, Ireland, Turkey, Sweden, Japan, Romania, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Maple Grove, Minnesota, from the nations of Leech Lake, Red Lake, White Earth, Turtle Mountain, Pine Ridge, Rosebud, and ICELAND ( !), to name just a few locales where literati decide that when visiting Minneapolis they will find Birchbark Books.

It is always such a pleasure to find out how and why people arrive at the blue Birchbark door (blue to resist evil spirits).  Often they have been dragged in by a relative, it is true.  But that relative has a love of books and little bookstores, and passes this on.  Many times the next generation is imbued with the spirit of the place.  We have children who have grown up reading such books as A Coyote Solstice Tale, by Thomas King, pictures by Gary Clement.  The perfect book to read in the Birchbark Loft.  This is a wonderful coyote sweet and funny book, a gentle anti-Christmas craziiness story that resonated with me and will, I think, with every mother and father whose children's visions of sugar plums require them to visit a crowded mall.  It made me want to drink hot chocolate and curl up with a good book.

I plan on curling up (again) with Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive, Decolonizing Botanical Anishinaabe Teachings, by Wendy Makoons Geniusz.   This book is several things at once: a primer on truth, an innovative Anishinabe-English language text, a grand discussion of what has been already written about Anishinabe use of plants, and a delightful act of love.   Decolonized knowledge of the world allows a person access to the entire range of human experience of nature -- from use to song to dream to dance.  This work is eye-opening and joyous .  And it is one of my favorite books of the year.   
Johanna Garcia commented on 28-Nov-2009 07:00 PM
Dear Louise,
I haven't seen you in almost 9 years. I know because that's how old our youngest children are. I wanted you to know that my students are once again (it's irreplaceable, as far as I am concerned) reading Birchbark House and loving it. I am so grateful as a teacher (I teach lower grades now) to have this book to accompany my students in their leap into literacy. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Greet Persia for me,
Johanna Garcia
Marta commented on 27-Dec-2009 03:44 PM
You've also had a visitor from Poland. Even though I live n Berlin, I come from Poland. Hope you enjoyed the book I have left for you in the bookstore. Smiles!
Janet commented on 29-Dec-2009 11:22 AM
And then there are the customers who live in a not so sexy locale, someplace like Minneapolis.
Anonymous commented on 05-Jan-2010 02:49 PM
You missed counting me also. I visited the store in July and I'm from France, although an American who has lived in France for 35 years. This fall I even gave a talk on "The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse" to my book club made up of French women who had never heard about Louise Erdrich and had little knowledge of Native Americans. It was a success!
Barbara Carlier
Harriett commented on 18-Nov-2012 09:13 AM
Like everyone else, I tried unsuccessfully to parse this book over several days. But I devoured it in 24 hours. I always feel guilty when I consume so quickly a great work such as yours that was created over a period of years. I feel greedy, but happily so. Whenever I run across a familiar name (Nanapush, Lamartine) my heart fills with joy and opens up and a it's like a butterfly flies out. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Post a Comment!

Canoe Family

Recent PostsRSS


green Native Arts Crushing Books Chickadee language revitalization Philip Roth William Trevor Magers and Quinn More Remarkable Trees Ice friends knowledge anniversary Tree Houses Fireworks The Royal Prussian Library Aza birchbark house series favorite book italy The Game of Silence Nemesis H2Oil Botany trees Hillary Clinton Czech Writer plants Mankato Powwow Canada Empire of the Summer Moon Love Louise pilgrims Ha Jin Education Afghanistan joy incarnation Wendy Makoons Geniusz book and dinner club japan School Gardens The Farmer's Daughter E.L. Doctorow Up Late Again twins Let's Take the Long Way Home Milkweed Press post holiday reads ependent British Navy france Ojibwemowin Keeping Heart on Pine Ridge thanks Gryphon Press Bill Moyers Journal show your love adventure germany Michael Jackson Beth Dooley Tar Sands The Resilient Gardener Dogs The Wealth of Nature Population Native People customers city of books cafe closing Dartmouth Chitra Divakaruni Light in August Patrick O'Brian Women and Trees Zombies boarding school Vic Glover peculiar touches of green and gold Minnesota Islam favorite dog tree books Small Bookstores as Commons solstice, Thomas King Emily Johnson Rare Books cafe Catalyst thank you friends Anishinabe ireland Greenland how good looking you are The Ojibwe sweden Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive Too Much Happiness buffalo Hilary Mantel Gary Clement bill mckibben President Obama ptsd china Easter Island Alice Munro Remarkable Trees Bleak House Kabul health care reform monkey in a dryer Roberto Bolano Jim Harrison Climate Change post holiday Alan Weisman north dakota photography The Transition Handbook aquifer support Collective Denial The Birchbark House Minneapolis Mohamed's Ghosts favorite tree The Blue Sky Guthrie Theater mississippi Kenwood Gardens Stephen Salisbury Makoons Peak Water National Book Award World on the Edge devoted customers coyote This Green World Wastepaper Anishinabemowin The Round House Green Team Interview Bohumil Hrabal Video euphoria Pembina The Porcupine Year Peak Oil the most romantic city in the world graphix Gail Caldwell Too Loud A Solitude neighborhood Master Butchers Singing Club Birchbark Books Poetry Keepers of the Trees Victory Gardens Book Review gardens Nero Keystone XL gratitude S.C. Gwynne spring leaves and snow Unnatural Disasters Wolf Hall Kate DiCamillo fresh water Anton Treuer 2666 State Troopers local economy Ojibwe Brown Dog Aubrey/Maturin NACDI:All My Relations