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.   
Comments
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
Anonymous 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!
Anonymous 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
Anonymous 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


Tags

Jim Harrison Green Team Rare Books birchbark house series book and dinner club State Troopers mississippi incarnation The Wealth of Nature city of books gardens Education Milkweed Press Too Much Happiness Climate Change Population Kenwood Gardens Mankato Powwow Anton Treuer Michael Jackson north dakota Minneapolis gratitude Aza spring Empire of the Summer Moon Poetry The Farmer's Daughter plants health care reform Vic Glover President Obama Tar Sands Aubrey/Maturin William Trevor Victory Gardens World on the Edge italy NACDI:All My Relations Kate DiCamillo Book Review This Green World Alice Munro thanks thank you friends twins Dogs peculiar touches of green and gold Tree Houses Makoons Zombies National Book Award how good looking you are Crushing Books Up Late Again the most romantic city in the world Bill Moyers Journal Peak Oil Ice support Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive leaves and snow Collective Denial Ha Jin customers Keepers of the Trees Ojibwe Patrick O'Brian Peak Water Keeping Heart on Pine Ridge devoted customers Wendy Makoons Geniusz Beth Dooley Anishinabemowin Botany Minnesota Bleak House Alan Weisman local economy Kabul Catalyst Gryphon Press buffalo knowledge green Easter Island Islam Remarkable Trees 350.org The Royal Prussian Library 2666 favorite tree Mohamed's Ghosts Gail Caldwell photography Magers and Quinn ireland Greenland bill mckibben Let's Take the Long Way Home Birchbark Books Hillary Clinton School Gardens germany cafe The Game of Silence Louise Chitra Divakaruni Canada coyote joy Hilary Mantel Ojibwemowin Women and Trees graphix Love Wolf Hall Wastepaper pilgrims boarding school ptsd Anishinabe adventure Brown Dog euphoria sweden aquifer The Transition Handbook Keystone XL Fireworks H2Oil Chickadee The Ojibwe Stephen Salisbury fresh water Unnatural Disasters neighborhood Afghanistan Bohumil Hrabal Nemesis favorite book show your love E.L. Doctorow tree books solstice, Thomas King More Remarkable Trees monkey in a dryer Light in August france Master Butchers Singing Club anniversary The Blue Sky trees British Navy post holiday reads ependent Small Bookstores as Commons Roberto Bolano japan Video Philip Roth Guthrie Theater language revitalization Emily Johnson Native People The Round House S.C. Gwynne Pembina Interview china favorite dog post holiday Gary Clement Too Loud A Solitude cafe closing Czech Writer The Porcupine Year friends Native Arts The Resilient Gardener The Birchbark House Nero Dartmouth

Archive