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


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