Novelist, Poet, Essayist Louise Erdrich ’76 at Dartmouth as Montgomery Fellow

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Acclaimed writer Louise Erdrich ’76 will be in residence at Dartmouth as a Montgomery Fellow from May 21 to 25. The award-winning author of Love Medicine and most recently Shadow Tag (2010) will read from her work and engage in a public conversation with Professor of Native American Studies N. Bruce Duthu on Tuesday, May 22, at 4:30 p.m., in Cook Auditorium in the Murdough building at the Tuck School of Business. During her fellowship, Erdrich is also scheduled to join several Native American studies, creative writing, and English classes.

Louise Erdrich

During her weeklong residency, Louise Erdrich will join several classes and engage in a public conversation with Professor of Native American Studies Bruce Duthu on Tuesday, May 22, at 4:30 p.m., in Cook Auditorium in the Murdough building at the Tuck School of Business. (photo by Joe Mehling ’69)

The breadth of Erdrich’s work includes novels, poetry, children’s books, essays, and a memoir.  Her first book, Love Medicine, won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1984. Erdrich has written 13 novels, including The Beet Queen (1986), Tracks (1988), The Antelope Wife (1998), The Master Butchers Singing Club (2003), and The Painted Drum (2005). Her novel The Plague of Doves (2009) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

“In thirteen novels, three books of poetry, five children’s books—four of which she illustrated herself—and innumerable essays and short stories—Louise Erdrich has consistently demonstrated that her voice—poetic, mythic, historical, political, and cultural—speaks spiritually for the American landscape and for the Native-American experience of that landscape,” says Richard Stamelman, executive director of the Montgomery Endowment.

“When she explores the forests and lakes of her native Ojibwe country in Minnesota and Ontario, she sees signs, hears words, and reads a land that is, for her, a book, as old and timeless as the earth itself,” Stamelman continues. “In expressing this experience of landscape as an ancient and sacred book and in giving voice to the struggle of Native Americans to honor and cherish this book, which sustains their way of life, she has become one of our most powerful and eloquent of modern-day writers.”

Erdrich graduated with the first four-year coeducational class at Dartmouth, and her daughter, Aza Erdrich, is a member of the Class of 2011. She received an honorary degree from the College in 2009, the year she was also the Commencement speaker. Erdrich returns to Dartmouth frequently, and most recently served as a Montgomery Fellow in May 2011.

Established in 1977, Dartmouth’s Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Endowment provides for “the advancement of the academic realm of the College” in ways that enhance the educational experience, in particular that are offered to undergraduate students.