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


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