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


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