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.   
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


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