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


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