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


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