Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country

Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country

Louise Erdrich
Native Americana
Random House, 2006 
Hardcover, 143 pages
$20.00

Louise Erdrich is one of the most prolific and celebrated writers of the so-called Native American Renaissance in literature. She is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of the Anishinaabe of which her grandfather was tribal chair. This small, but captivating, book is her account of a vision quest she made with her eighteen-month-old daughter into the lakes and islands of the Northwoods in search of the literature of her tribe. Along the way she paid homage to the spirits in the old ways with tobacco and ribbon shirts to ensure life’s blessings for herself and her family. Central to the story are the atisikan or painted images found on the rocky islands and the library of rare books on Ojibwe culture and language collected by Ernest Oberholtzer on Mallard Island in Rainy Lake.