Shopping cart is empty.

Birchbark Blog

Unconquered

Louise Erdrich - Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Walter R. Echo-Hawk, a hero of persistence and one of the most thoughtful and engaging of writers, takes on the 10 Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided in the book I am reading now.  In the Courts of the Conqueror is written with such passion, wit, and candor that I literally can't put this book down.  Even though it is heavy.  True, it is painful to come to terms with the truth about what happens in the court system, particularly the Supreme Court.  It is even more difficult to resist the flow of history and precedent and re-imaging a society based on justice.  Patricia N. Limerick says in her introduction that this book is "an effective challenge to the fatalistic school of history."  As such, while reading it you may be outraged and startled -- but the fact that it, and the writer, exist and fight on gives one hope.  Plus, a fascinating read.  

Nobody but Gerald Vizenor could write the words "cosmoprimitive casino series", or "mongrel driving schools", or describe the Band Box Diner and capture with such skewed energy what it means to be an Indian, an Anishinaabe, a human being on and off the White Earth Reservation here in Minnesota.  Shrouds of White Earth is another wildly laudable work by our master ironist.  A meditation on Native Art, Marc Chagall, George Morrison, The Gallery of Irony Dogs, and too much else to mention, this book is a small feast just in time for our favorite holiday -- whatever else happened on that fateful pilgrim afternoon I am thankful for Visioner, I mean Vizenor.  

Can you take The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book?  It isn't funny, and the pictures are brutal, but that's the real history and Gord Hill tells it in quick takes.  This book is packed with information and particularly valuable for the information on resistence in British Columbia at Ts'peten and at Aazhoodena.

Lyrical, moving, quiet and profound, the photographs taken by John Willis on Pine Ridge are that rare artifact -- art that increases the dignity and beauty of the subject while remaining honest.  Mr. Willis spent many years visiting and revisiting the people and places he photographed.  There is a clear, deep love in many of these images.  Views from the Reservation is a large photography book, a collection, but you wouldn't put it on your coffee table.  I carry my copy from place to place in the house because even the endpapers provoke meditation.  

Comments
Lisa commented on 06-Jan-2011 03:18 PM
How strange is west. When I was ten I traveled west with my parents. West is so far, that you don't know whether you have arrived yet, once you are standing on the continenetal granite plate that seems to tilt to the north looking up. I suppose, that I was surprised to see herds of bison grazing from a distance when we went through the Dakotas. Summer 1970, the same year that "Riders on the Storm" was a hit and on the jukebox

We visited a reservation near the Black Hills--where we could tour dwellings, a village, look at art, and go to hear stories at night. If you were a kid--you just accepted it automatically. Everything was real and there you were in another world. I suppose that is the best time to find friends and think about differences. I found friends my age at the reservation general store. It is near the souvenir store--the store is divided.

I've only driven by Minneapolis/St. Paul once--in fact, I've only been through Minnesota once, during the summer in 1983. I was again a passenger, looking out the car window trying to see the Twin Cities. They looked miniature among the bluffs.

When I read the Lousie Erdrich books, I think about the different worlds that you find, once the characters' personalities make the reader think within a place. I can't imagine what this place is like. But I can't believe, turning the pages, that the stories keep going and the jokes keep you laughing--and the descriptions are so idiosynchratic to the events. Descriptions, that is, of what will be when. I get these books new; and the ones I don't have, I buy at store clearances--so, I have most of them! "The Master Butchers Singing Club" really becomes alive--it is a charged story--and "The Plague of Doves" is so well worked that you don't stop turning the pages until the story is near the final chapters! I read the e-mails I get from Birchbark Books--I look forward to seeing the news and events and to thinking about distance. Birchbark Books seems to have the most different ideas all kept together in its pictures.
Post a Comment!

Canoe Family

Recent PostsRSS


Tags

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

Archive