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LaRose
Cover of LaRose
LaRose
A Novel
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Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in FictionFinalist for the 2017 PEN Faulkner AwardIn this literary masterwork, Louise Erdrich, the bestselling author of the National Book Award-winning...
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in FictionFinalist for the 2017 PEN Faulkner AwardIn this literary masterwork, Louise Erdrich, the bestselling author of the National Book Award-winning...
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Description-

  • Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction

    Finalist for the 2017 PEN Faulkner Award

    In this literary masterwork, Louise Erdrich, the bestselling author of the National Book Award-winning The Round House and the Pulitzer Prize nominee The Plague of Doves wields her breathtaking narrative magic in an emotionally haunting contemporary tale of a tragic accident, a demand for justice, and a profound act of atonement with ancient roots in Native American culture.

    North Dakota, late summer, 1999. Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence—but when the buck springs away, Landreaux realizes he's hit something else, a blur he saw as he squeezed the trigger. When he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighbor's five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich.

    The youngest child of his friend and neighbor, Peter Ravich, Dusty was best friends with Landreaux's five-year-old son, LaRose. The two families have always been close, sharing food, clothing, and rides into town; their children played together despite going to different schools; and Landreaux's wife, Emmaline, is half sister to Dusty's mother, Nola. Horrified at what he's done, the recovered alcoholic turns to an Ojibwe tribe tradition—the sweat lodge—for guidance, and finds a way forward. Following an ancient means of retribution, he and Emmaline will give LaRose to the grieving Peter and Nola. "Our son will be your son now," they tell them.

    LaRose is quickly absorbed into his new family. Plagued by thoughts of suicide, Nola dotes on him, keeping her darkness at bay. His fierce, rebellious new "sister," Maggie, welcomes him as a coconspirator who can ease her volatile mother's terrifying moods. Gradually he's allowed shared visits with his birth family, whose sorrow mirrors the Raviches' own. As the years pass, LaRose becomes the linchpin linking the Irons and the Raviches, and eventually their mutual pain begins to heal.

    But when a vengeful man with a long-standing grudge against Landreaux begins raising trouble, hurling accusations of a cover-up the day Dusty died, he threatens the tenuous peace that has kept these two fragile families whole.

    Inspiring and affecting, LaRose is a powerful exploration of loss, justice, and the reparation of the human heart, and an unforgettable, dazzling tour de force from one of America's most distinguished literary masters.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Louise Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children's books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and her debut novel, Love Medicine, was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Erdrich has received the Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction, the prestigious PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. She lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 11, 2016
    Erdrich spins a powerful, resonant story with masterly finesse. As in The Round House, she explores the quest for justice and the thirst for retribution. Again, the setting—a North Dakota Ojibwe reservation and a nearby town—adds complexity to the plot. Landreaux Iron, an Ojibwe man, accidentally shoots and kills the five-year-old son of his best friend, farmer Peter Ravich, who is not a member of the tribe. After a wrenching session with his Catholic priest, Father Travis, and a soul-searching prayer in a sweat lodge, Landreaux gives his own five-year-old son, LaRose, to grieving Peter and his wife, Nola, who is half-sister to Landreaux's own wife, Emmaline. In the years that follow, LaRose becomes a bridge between his two families. He also accesses powers that have distinguished his namesakes in previous generations, when LaRose was "a name both innocent and powerful, and had belonged to the family's healers." Erdrich introduces this mystical element seamlessly, in the same way that LaRose and other Ojibwes recognize and communicate with "the active presence of the spirit world." The magical aspects are lightened by scenes of everyday life: old ladies in an assisted-living home squabble about sex; teenage girls create their own homemade beauty spa. Erdrich raises suspense by introducing another, related act of retribution, culminating in a memorable and satisfying ending.

  • Library Journal

    December 1, 2015

    Set in 1999 North Dakota, this new work concludes a trilogy begun with the Anisfield-Wolf Award winner The Plague of Doves and the National Book Award winner The Round House. Landreaux Iron is deer hunting when he inadvertently shoots and kills five-year-old Dusty Ravich, son of best friend Pete Ravich and his own son LaRose's favorite buddy. To make amends, the grief-stricken Landreaux falls back on a traditional means of retribution, giving LaRose to Pete and his wife. With a 200,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • New York Times Book Review, front page review "A masterly tale of grief and love...Erdrich never missteps...The recurring miracle of Erdrich's fiction is that nothing feels miraculous in her novels. She gently insists that there are abiding spirits in this land and alternative ways of living and forgiving that have somehow survived the West's best efforts to snuff them out."
  • Washington Post "The rewards of LAROSE lie in the quick unraveling and the slow reconstruction of these lives to a moment when animosities resolve, like shards of glass in a kaleidoscope, into clarity and understanding...Told with constraint and conviction..."
  • Los Angeles Times "You're going to want to take your time with this book, so lavish in its generational scope, its fierce torrent of wrongs and its luxurious heart. Anyway, you may have no choice, as you fall under the spell of a master... Like Toni Morrison, like Tolstoy, like Steinbeck, Erdrich writes her characters with a helpless love and witnesses them with a supreme absence of judgment...[a] beautiful novel."
  • Vanity Fair "Remarkable...As the novel draws to a conclusion, the suspense is ratcheted up, but never at the expense of Erdrich's reflective power or meditative lyricism...One of Erdrich's finest achievements."
  • San Francisco Chronicle "Incandescent...Erdrich has always been fascinated by the relationship between revenge and justice, but...LaRose comes down firmly on the side of forgiveness. Can a person do the worst possible thing and still be loved? Erdrich's answer is a resounding yes."
  • Chicago Tribune "...a magnificent, sorrowful tale of justice, retribution, and love."
  • Philip Roth, New York Times "[Erdrich] has laid out one of the most arresting visions of America in one of its most neglected corners, a tableaux on par with Faulkner, a place both perilous and haunted, cursed and blessed."
  • Boston Globe "[Erdrich] is, like Faulkner, one of the great American regionalists, bearing the dark knowledge of her place, as he did his. She is by now among the very best of American writers."
  • Minneapolis Star Tribune "...[a] sad, wise, funny novel, in which [Erdrich] takes the native storytelling tradition that informs her work and remakes it for the modern world, stitching its tattered remnants into a vibrant living fabric."
  • Miami Herald "...[a] superb new novel...[Erdrich immerses] us in this remarkable world so thoroughly, so satisfyingly..."
  • People "Erdrich's richly layered tale brings a host of fascinating characters to life as it builds to its haunting resolution."
  • Denver Post "Breathtaking...[LaRose] may be her most graceful creation...The recurring miracle of Erdrich's fiction is that nothing feels miraculous in her novels. She gently insists there are abiding spirits in this land and alternative ways of living and forgiving that have somehow survived the West's best efforts to snuff them out."
  • Kansas City Star "Told with aching understanding...This timeless 15th novel stands as one of Erdrich's best: comprehending and comprehensive, full of cascading, resonant details punctuated with spiky humor."
  • Providence Journal "Erdrich's created an entire world, a realm bristling with a sense of place, where plots unwind and surprise, the spirit world suffuses everyday existence, and the past is as much a part of the present as breathing...magnificent...It is Erdrich at the top of her form."
  • Houston Chronicle "A powerful evocation of two families' struggle to overcome misfortune.."
  • O, the Oprah Magazine "...a brutal, ultimately buoyant dramatization of the way unexpected kinships heal us."
  • Chapter 16 "Mesmerizing... Throughout her body of work, Erdrich has woven complex narratives with rich character detail and the cultural traditions of her Native American background. In LaRose, her greatest strengths are on display as all these strands come together under her masterful control."
  • Entertainment Weekly "Erdrich suffuses the book with her particular sort of magic-an ability to treat each character with singular care, weaving their separate journeys flawlessly throughout the larger narrative, and making each person's pain feel achingly real. All the while, she adds new depth to timeless concepts of revenge, culture, and family."
  • Bookreporter.com "A complex tapestry of retribution and acceptance...Ever the master of emotions, Erdrich...incorporates...

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