Written with undeniable urgency, and illuminating the harsh realities of contemporary life in a community where Ojibwe and white live uneasily together, The Round House is a brilliant and entertaining novel, a masterpiece of literary fiction.
Winner of the 2012 National Book Award for Fiction
This exquisitely told story set on the Ojibwe reservation in contemporary North Dakota follows a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family.
Freshman Common Read: University of Minnesota, University of Oregon, University of Missouri
Ojibwe Author Louise Erdrich’s “The Round House” Wins National Book Award.
In the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe sets out to get some answers of his own. The quest takes him first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning. Louise Erdrich’s novel embraces tragedy, the comic, a spirit world very much present in the lives of her all-too human characters, and a tale of injustice that is, unfortunately, an authentic reflection of what happens in our own world today.
In the video below, Louise Erdrich is interviewed by PBS about her novel and the complicated issues of Indian sovereignty and violence against Indian women.
In the video below, Louise Erdrich reads from her novel, The Round House.
Louise Erdrich is an enrolled Turtle Mountain Chippewathe, and author of thirteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, short stories, children’s books, and a memoir of early motherhood. She lives in Minnesota and is the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore. Minneapolis and St. Paul have one of the largest concentrations of urban Native people in the United States. Birchbark Books provides a locus for Native intellectual life.
Birchbark Books has a long-standing tradition of working with schools and educators interested in Native studies and of assisting educators in meeting the new Minnesota American Indian Academic Standards: We exist to keep real conversations between book lovers alive. We sponsor readings by Native and non-Native writers, journalists, historians. We have compiled a specific selection of titles based on books that Native Studies departments within schools currently use and recommend, in addition to our own personal recommendations.