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


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