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


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