Shopping cart is empty.

Birchbark Blog

Everything You Know About Indians Is Wrong

Louise Erdrich - Monday, October 19, 2009
Everything You Know about Indians Is Wrong, a satisfyingly complex book by Paul Chaat Smith, who maintains that although we are considered somehow primitive and simple we are actually oceans of terrifying complexity.  I have been called this by men, with no regard to my Turtle Mountain heritage.  Just . . . an ocean of complexity.  And this book, too, is so complicated that I found my emotions were all mixed up.  Irony, laughter, rage, weariness.  A mixture -- a complex character trait but as one of my character flaws is a vague obscurity I appreciated the harsh wit and intelligence in these essays.  A recommendation with many stars after it.

I'll be taking this book along on my next trip along with Chitra Divarakuni's One Amazing Thing, covering Indians -- East to West.

And some favorite post snow fall reading -- Homer and Langely by E.L.Doctorow.  I loved this novel for its quirky, mild mannered fidelity, for its courtly reserve, and at last for the gentle horror of its ending.  I thought it beautifully imagined and restrained.  A perfect work.  The portrait of a consciousness cut off from even the world of music, floating in soundless space, the last 10 pages were extraordinarily moving to me.

Canoe Family

Recent PostsRSS


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