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


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