Erdrich’s Multiple Narrators

21 Lit

In an earlier post, I noted that one of Louise Erdrich’s trademarks is her sense of humor—the way she weaves bits of broad comedy into a larger fabric that tends more often to the sad or tragic.  In this post,  I want to note another Erdrich trademark:  her use of multiple perspectives to tell her stories.   To be sure, I have not read all of her works.  In the ones I have, though, I’ve noticed that she prefer to tell stories from the perspective of a community rather than of an individual.

In her first published book Love Medicine, Erdrich tells us the story of two families:  the Kashpaws and the Lamartines.  She does so in fourteen stories that can stand alone as separate works, but that also connect together to work as a novel.   The stories focus on different characters and are told from different points of…

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