Louise Erdrich's first book in a planned trilogy and a 2009 Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Plague of Doves
, considered the ways in which past trauma filters through generations. The Round House
, the second installment, continues with her exploration of a North Dakotan Ojibwe community, this time revisiting Judge Antone Bazil Coutts and his family in a lively yet reflective narration by his thirteen-year old son, Joe. Set during the late spring and early summer of 1988, the novel raises worthy questions about legal jurisdiction, retribution, and loyalty, and features a crime as a catalyst for the plot.
When Joe's mother, Geraldine, is raped during the course of her work maintaining the reservation's tribal enrollment records, uncertainty as to whether the assault occurred on state or tribal land leads to complications, and underscores historic tensions over the...
Beyond the Book
Known as the Chippewa; Ojibway; Ojibwa; and in their own words, the Anishinabe, (meaning "original man" and alluding to a creation story); the Ojibwe are thought to have migrated from the northeast (perhaps from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, according to late nineteenth-century history). They then settled in Southern Canada as well as the Great Lakes region of the United States.
They organized by clans, often named after birds, animals, or fish, and maintained a woodlands lifestyle, including fishing, trapping, gathering wild rice, and maple sugaring. Excellent hunters, the Ojibwe prospered during the French fur trade, began acquiring weapons,...