The Round House (Paperback)
Harper Perennial, 9780062357274, 416pp.
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
October 2012 Indie Next List
— Jenny Lyons, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
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Winner of the 2012 National Book Award, Louise Erdrich’s masterful novel is now available in a limited Olive Edition.
One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface because 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. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.
While his father, a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning.
“The novel showcases her extraordinary ability to delineate the ties of love, resentment, need, duty and sympathy that bind families together…a powerful novel.” --New York Times
About the Author
Louise Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and her debut novel, Love Medicine, was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Erdrich has received the Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction, the prestigious PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. She lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.
Praise For The Round House: A Novel…
“Erdrich has given us a multitude of narrative voices and stories. Never before has she given us a novel with a single narrative voice so smart, rich and full of surprises as she has in The Round House…and, I would argue, her best so far.”
“THE ROUND HOUSE is filled with stunning language that recalls shades of Faulkner, García Márquez and Toni Morrison. Deeply moving, this novel ranks among Erdrich’s best work, and it is impossible to forget.”
“Emotionally compelling…Joe is an incredibly endearing narrator, full of urgency and radiant candor…the story he tells transforms a sad, isolated crime into a revelation about how maturity alters our relationship with our parents, delivering us into new kinds of love and pain.”
“The novel showcases her [Erdrich’s] extraordinary ability to delineate the ties of love, resentment, need, duty and sympathy that bind families together…[a] powerful novel.”
“A gripping mystery with a moral twist: Revenge might be the harshest punishment, but only for the victims. A-”
“Moving, complex, and surprisingly uplifting…likely to be dubbed the Native American TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD”
“Erdrich never shields the reader or Joe from the truth…She writes simply, without flourish.”
“An artfully balanced mystery, thriller and coming-of-age story…this novel will have you reading at warp speed to see what happens next.”
“Erdrich’s bittersweet contemplation of love and friendship, morality and generativity…result in a tender, tough coming-of-age tale.”
“A powerful human story…By boring deeply into one person’s darkest episode, Erdrich hits the bedrock truth about a whole community.”
“Haunting…a bittersweet coming-of-age tale…tender but unsentimental and buoyed by subtle wit”
“THE ROUND HOUSE is a stunning piece of architecture. It is carefully, lovingly, disarmingly constructed. Even the digressions demand strict attention.”
“One of the most pleasurable aspects of Erdrich’s writing…is that while her narratives are loose and sprawling, the language is always tight and poetically compressed…In the end there’s nothing, not the arresting plot or the shocking ending of THE ROUND HOUSE, that resonates as much as the characters.”
“Joe may be one of Erdrich’s best-drawn characters; he’s conflicted, feisty one moment, scared and disappointed the next. THE ROUND HOUSE will inevitably draw comparisons to Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD…”
“A sweeping, suspenseful outing from this prizewinning, generation-spanning chronicler of her Native American people, the Ojibwe of the northern plains...a sumptuous tale.”
“Erdrich threads a gripping mystery and multilayered portrait of a community through a deeply affecting coming-of-age novel.”
“A stunning and devastating tale of hate crimes and vengeance…Erdrich covers a vast spectrum of history, cruel loss, and bracing realizations. A preeminent tale in an essential American saga.”
“The story pulses with urgency as she [Erdrich] probes the moral and legal ramifications of a terrible act of violence.”
“Erdrich skillfully makes Joe’s coming-of-age both universal and specific…the story is also ripe with detail about reservation life, and with her rich cast of characters, Erdrich provides flavor, humor and depth. Joe’s relationship with his father, Bazil, a judge, has echoes of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.”
“Riveting…One of Erdrich’s most suspenseful novels.... It vividly portrays both the deep tragedy and crazy comedy of life.”
“Each new Erdrich novel adds new layers of pathos and comedy, earthiness and spiritual questing, to her priceless multigenerational drama. THE ROUND HOUSE is one of her best -- concentrated, suspenseful, and morally profound.”
“Louise Erdrich’s prose is spare, precise, smooth as polished stone. Her books are rich with literary muscle.” -Austin American-Statesman
“The story draws the reader unstoppably page by page.”
“While Erdrich is known as a brilliant chronicler of the American Indian experience, her insights into our family, community, and spiritual lives transcend any category.”
“Poignant and surprisingly funny, it’s the acclaimed writer’s best book yet.”