The Painted Drum
By Louise Erdrich
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060515119, 304pp.)
Publication Date: September 2006
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While appraising the estate of a New Hampshire family descended from a North Dakota Indian agent, Faye Travers is startled to discover a rare moose skin and cedar drum fashioned long ago by an Ojibwe artisan. And so begins an illuminating journey both backward and forward in time, following the strange passage of a powerful yet delicate instrument, and revealing the extraordinary lives it has touched and defined.
Compelling and unforgettable, Louise Erdrich's Painted Drum explores the often fraught relationship between mothers and daughters, the strength of family, and the intricate rhythms of grief with all the grace, wit, and startling beauty that characterizes this acclaimed author's finest work.
Louise Erdrich lives with her family in Minnesota and is the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore. Ms. Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, and this storywhich will, in the end, span one hundred years in the life of an Ojibwe womanwas inspired when Ms. Erdrich and her mother, Rita Gourneau Erdrich, were researching their own family history. Chickadee begins a new part of the story that started with The Birchbark House, a National Book Award finalist; The Game of Silence, winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction; and the acclaimed The Porcupine Year.
Ms. Erdrich is also the bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels for adults, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves and National Book Award finalist The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. She is also the author of the picture book Grandmother's Pigeon, illustrated by Jim LaMarche.
“A lovely addition . . . to a growing landscape as memorable and enduring as William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County.
“Complex and graceful . . . Her most recent work shows Erdrich only becoming better with time.”
-Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Erdrich soars in scenes that are resonant, poetic and exact, visions that will remain imprinted on the reader’s mind.”
-Los Angeles Times Book Review
“A brilliant creation: it possesses the instantly persuasive strangeness of something faithful to life.”
-New York Times Book Review
“This is simply a good book... Neatly etched characters, finely calibrated prose, and flashes of wisdom and wit throughout.”
-Christian Science Monitor
“Haunted and haunting... With fearlessness and humility... [Erdrich] inspires readers to open their hearts.”
-Washington Post Book World
“This is her best book yet.”
“Erdrich at her most accomplished. . . . Startling imagery and remarkable insights into love, foolishness, bravery and betrayal.”
“One of her best novels... Erdrich’s writing has become richer, her voice wiser... She shies away from nothing.”
-Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A top-notch read and one of her finest efforts.”
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org