Shopping cart is empty.

Birchbark Blog

Thank You, Pilgrims

Louise Erdrich - Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thank you, Pilgrims!

No, not buckle pilgrims -- book pilgrims.

 Our little bookstore would never survive without the Pilgrims who come to visit us from every part of the world.  Thank you for coming to visit us.  Thank you for drinking coffee at the Kenwood Cafe.  Thank you for sitting in the reading chairs and for telling us how and why you came to Birchbark Books.  Thank you for sharing the green stuff that lubricates the wheels of civilization.  Over the summer and fall, we've have visitors from Italy, Canada, China, Germany, England, Nigeria, Ireland, Turkey, Sweden, Japan, Romania, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Maple Grove, Minnesota, from the nations of Leech Lake, Red Lake, White Earth, Turtle Mountain, Pine Ridge, Rosebud, and ICELAND ( !), to name just a few locales where literati decide that when visiting Minneapolis they will find Birchbark Books.

It is always such a pleasure to find out how and why people arrive at the blue Birchbark door (blue to resist evil spirits).  Often they have been dragged in by a relative, it is true.  But that relative has a love of books and little bookstores, and passes this on.  Many times the next generation is imbued with the spirit of the place.  We have children who have grown up reading such books as A Coyote Solstice Tale, by Thomas King, pictures by Gary Clement.  The perfect book to read in the Birchbark Loft.  This is a wonderful coyote sweet and funny book, a gentle anti-Christmas craziiness story that resonated with me and will, I think, with every mother and father whose children's visions of sugar plums require them to visit a crowded mall.  It made me want to drink hot chocolate and curl up with a good book.

I plan on curling up (again) with Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive, Decolonizing Botanical Anishinaabe Teachings, by Wendy Makoons Geniusz.   This book is several things at once: a primer on truth, an innovative Anishinabe-English language text, a grand discussion of what has been already written about Anishinabe use of plants, and a delightful act of love.   Decolonized knowledge of the world allows a person access to the entire range of human experience of nature -- from use to song to dream to dance.  This work is eye-opening and joyous .  And it is one of my favorite books of the year.   
Comments
Johanna Garcia commented on 28-Nov-2009 07:00 PM
Dear Louise,
I haven't seen you in almost 9 years. I know because that's how old our youngest children are. I wanted you to know that my students are once again (it's irreplaceable, as far as I am concerned) reading Birchbark House and loving it. I am so grateful as a teacher (I teach lower grades now) to have this book to accompany my students in their leap into literacy. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Greet Persia for me,
Johanna Garcia
Marta commented on 27-Dec-2009 03:44 PM
You've also had a visitor from Poland. Even though I live n Berlin, I come from Poland. Hope you enjoyed the book I have left for you in the bookstore. Smiles!
Janet commented on 29-Dec-2009 11:22 AM
And then there are the customers who live in a not so sexy locale, someplace like Minneapolis.
Anonymous commented on 05-Jan-2010 02:49 PM
You missed counting me also. I visited the store in July and I'm from France, although an American who has lived in France for 35 years. This fall I even gave a talk on "The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse" to my book club made up of French women who had never heard about Louise Erdrich and had little knowledge of Native Americans. It was a success!
Barbara Carlier
Harriett commented on 18-Nov-2012 09:13 AM
Like everyone else, I tried unsuccessfully to parse this book over several days. But I devoured it in 24 hours. I always feel guilty when I consume so quickly a great work such as yours that was created over a period of years. I feel greedy, but happily so. Whenever I run across a familiar name (Nanapush, Lamartine) my heart fills with joy and opens up and a it's like a butterfly flies out. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Post a Comment!

Canoe Family

Recent PostsRSS


Tags

Minnesota Czech Writer Up Late Again Climate Change twins National Book Award Education post holiday reads ependent Keeping Heart on Pine Ridge cafe closing S.C. Gwynne Gary Clement pilgrims how good looking you are Guthrie Theater germany Minneapolis Poetry trees Catalyst health care reform Love Vic Glover Peak Water support Let's Take the Long Way Home E.L. Doctorow Birchbark Books Kenwood Gardens gratitude graphix Dogs Empire of the Summer Moon show your love Hilary Mantel Population buffalo Gryphon Press H2Oil bill mckibben Jim Harrison Bill Moyers Journal Gail Caldwell Botany solstice, Thomas King Ha Jin Tree Houses Louise Hillary Clinton Nemesis The Blue Sky Islam photography William Trevor plants Aubrey/Maturin Brown Dog gardens favorite tree Beth Dooley Chickadee Milkweed Press Unnatural Disasters friends Roberto Bolano Women and Trees Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive Victory Gardens ireland Keepers of the Trees neighborhood Anishinabe thank you friends The Game of Silence knowledge customers Alice Munro Dartmouth Emily Johnson italy Mankato Powwow President Obama sweden British Navy The Royal Prussian Library anniversary NACDI:All My Relations Keystone XL Philip Roth Ojibwe Zombies Remarkable Trees favorite book Rare Books Master Butchers Singing Club Peak Oil Aza Easter Island language revitalization Bohumil Hrabal Anton Treuer 350.org This Green World Magers and Quinn Pembina the most romantic city in the world coyote Kabul green Nero The Round House Bleak House World on the Edge Makoons north dakota Native Arts adventure Michael Jackson boarding school The Resilient Gardener france The Birchbark House Chitra Divakaruni More Remarkable Trees birchbark house series The Farmer's Daughter Tar Sands Too Much Happiness State Troopers Kate DiCamillo tree books Patrick O'Brian Wolf Hall thanks School Gardens 2666 Crushing Books Video Wendy Makoons Geniusz leaves and snow The Ojibwe Book Review Green Team city of books Light in August euphoria mississippi Wastepaper Fireworks incarnation The Wealth of Nature cafe Ice book and dinner club Small Bookstores as Commons ptsd japan Alan Weisman Ojibwemowin Greenland post holiday aquifer Stephen Salisbury Anishinabemowin Afghanistan favorite dog joy peculiar touches of green and gold spring Interview Mohamed's Ghosts local economy fresh water devoted customers china Canada Too Loud A Solitude The Porcupine Year monkey in a dryer The Transition Handbook Collective Denial Native People

Archive