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Birchbark Blog

Dartmouth Commencement 2009: Keynote Address

Birchbark Books - Thursday, June 25, 2009
Watch Louise's commencement address to the Dartmouth class of 2009.


Louise Erdrich - Saturday, June 06, 2009
It is raining at last in Minneapolis, saving the new trees that the city has planted, filling the storm sewers, giving us all a moment to step inside.  The latest read -- American Indians and the Law, by N. Bruce Duthu, published by Penguin Books.  Not all of you may find this a mesmerizing subject, but I do.  The book clearly sets out the foundation for the most recent legal decisions by the Supreme Court, and manages both to appall and give some hope.  This may not be a thriller summer beach read, but it has got me thinking.

We have the most beautiful bird books in the store right now, and notebooks that just make you want to write down your secret thoughts.

Every time I walk into the store (wearing baggy running pants and an ancient  Hendrix T), I meet some interesting people.  A lovely woman from Leech Lake with her artist man on their way to Chicago, some high school seniors making an actual visit to pick up a book they were assigned, exotic and dangerously handsome men in J. Peterman hats . . . not really.   The exhibit just a few doors away at Bockley Gallery takes a person's breath away.  To stand before the Norval Morriseau paintings is to fall into an instant perception vortex.  The colors!  You've got to spend time with them, take them in, and even when you leave the colors will remain, eidetic images, in your rainy day mind. 

Yours for the books, Louise

At Last!

Louise Erdrich - Sunday, March 15, 2009
At last!  After our deep freeze winter, the weekend.  40, 50 degrees.  Tee shirt weather.  People were out on the still frozen lakes.  Minnesotans emerged, pale and dazzled, from their caves, and walked their dogs or conversed euphorically as they walked the paths and sidewalks and ice free trails.  It was lovely to see the action in the streets.  The bookstore was packed.  I thought of us all emerging from The Winter Vault.  The Winter Vault is actually the title of Ann Michael's new novel (Fugitive Pieces, her last book).  My daughter gave it to me, and I read it right through.  The first half especially is extraordinary.  This is a love story, a river story, a story about how all we do changes what and whom we love.  It is exquisitely written.  The wrenching and lovely book of a poet with great narrative skills.

The Winter Vault, by Ann Michaels.  

-- Louise   

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