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


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