The Antelope Wife

The Antelope WifeI loved this novel which is both magical and realistic This is the first time I ve read anything from Louise Erdrich I really appreciate her style and the way she combines myth and reality A very thought provoking read I am looking forward to reading books from her. The best part of this book is the dog s perspective in this scene I learned early Eat anything you can at any time Fast Bolt it down Stay cute, but stay elusive Don t let them think twice when they ve got the hatchet out I see cold steel, I m gone Believe it And there are all sorts of illnesses we dread Avoid the bite of the fox It is madness Avoid all bats Avoid all black and white striped moving objects And slow things with spiny quills Avoid all the humans when they get into a feasting mood Get near the tables fast, though, once the food is cooked Stay close to their feet Stay ready.But don t steal from their plates.Avoid medicine men Snakes boys with BB guns Anything ropelike or easily used to hang or tie Avoid outhouse holes Cats that live indoors Do not sleep under cars Or with horses Do not eat anything attached to a skinny, burning string Do not eat lard from the table Do not go into the house at all unless no one is watching Do not, unless you are absolutely certain you can blame it on the cat, eat any of their chickens Do not eat pies Do not eat decks of cards, plastic jugs, dry beans, dish sponges If you must eat a shoe, eat both of the pair, every scrap, untraceable Always, when in doubt, the rule is you are better off underneath the house Don t chase cars driven by young teenage boys Don t chase cars driven by old ladies Don t bark or growl at men cradling rifles Don t get wet in winter, and don t let yourself dry out when the hot winds of August blow We re not equipped to sweat Keep your mouth open Visit the lake Pee often Take messages from tree stumps and the corners of buildings Don t forget to leave in return a polite and respectful hello You never know when it will come in handy, your contact, your friend You never know whom you will need to rely upon. A Fiercely Imagined Tale Of Love And Loss, A Story That Manages To Transform Tragedy Into Comic Redemption, Sorrow Into Heroic Survival New York Times A Beguiling Family SagaA Captivating Jigsaw Puzzle Of Longing And Loss Whose Pieces Form An Unforgettable Image Of Contemporary Native American Life PeopleA New York Times Bestselling Author, A Pulitzer Prize Finalist, And Winner Of The National Book Critics Circle Award, Louise Erdrich Is An Acclaimed Chronicler Of Life And Love, Mystery And Magic Within The Native American Community A Hauntingly Beautiful Story Of A Mysterious Woman Who Enters The Lives Of Two Families And Changes Them Forever, Erdrich S Classic Novel, The Antelope Wife, Has Enthralled Readers For Than A Decade With Its Powerful Themes Of Fate And Ancestry, Tragedy And Salvation Now The Acclaimed Author Of Shadow Tag And The Plague Of Doves Has Radically Revised This Already Masterful Work, Adding A New Richness To The Characters And Story While Bringing Its Major Themes Into Sharper Focus, As It Ingeniously Illuminates The Effect Of History On Families And Cultures, Ojibwe And White Digital audio read by the author.From the book jacket Family stories repeat themselves in patterns and waves, generation to generation, across bloods and time Once the pattern is set we go on replicating it, writes Louise Erdrich in The Antelope Wife, her sixth novel Rooted in the landscape of city life, yet continually influenced by the power of Ojibwa family, the intricacies of Ojibwa language and religious belief, this book extends the branches of the families who populate Erdrich s work and reflects the irrevocable patterns set in motion by certain fateful acts My reactionsI just have to say that Erdrich is one of my favorite writers Her prose is luminous and poetic Her use of magical realism seamless It reminds me of listening to my grandparents, aunts and uncles tell stories of family lore, sitting on a dark porch of a summer evening I would be entranced by their stories and the images they painted found their way into my dreams and into the very fiber of my being The novel weaves history, contemporary urban life, legend, and sacred myth into a marvelous tapestry of a story There is violence, and lust, and tenderness to break your heart There is birth and death, humor and tragedy, betrayal and forgiveness, broken people scattered on the battlefield of life, and others standing tall and moving forward.I want to go back and read it again.While Erdrich frequently uses characters over and over again in her novels, you can really read any of them as a stand alone work This novel was first published in 1998, and reissued in 2016 as Antelope Woman.I was excited to get an audio read by Erdrich The poetry of her language really comes out in her performance HOWEVER I realized too late that this was an abridged version No wonder I felt that I would better enjoy the novel if I read the text which I did. I hoped that I would like this book, but it was too fragmented, disjointed It had great potential to be a reflective and philosophical journey, but ultimately the points didn t connect the kidnapped antelope woman Sweetheart Calico was supposed to be the link that connected all the events and characters of the book, but it just didn t hold water I didn t have a single emotional connection with the story or characters during any point of the book Considering the treading into the spiritual and the darker sides of life kidnapping, divorce, homelessness , I was surprised how little meaning or sense these events imparted I m a bit disappointed with my first Louise Erdich novel, but I thought the writing was mostly good so I might read her again. Erdrich strikes again with her usual heady mix of poetic prose and magical realism I just love her writing This particular novel took a little while to get going for me and I did find myself struggling to work out exactly who was who for a bit I could have done with a family tree to refer to I think I just about worked it out in the end, though Fabulous stuff, as ever Highly recommended. Louise Erdrich s works seem woven with textures of destinies, families, and histories This book is no exception.Frequently painful to read because of the emotional damage inherited by and inflicted by the characters in this tale, this book is nonetheless a rewarding experience because of the human redemption achieved by a few key members of this tangled family web.The melodic and mystical prose guides the reader through worlds of tragedy, comedy, damnation, and salvation Although not religous, these worlds are deeply spiritual in a most physically human way The Antelope Wife is another masterful experience by one of our best writers. Beautiful At times, it takes me a while to slow down enough as a reader to appreciate Erdrich when I do, it is always rewarding I keep reading her novels in snatches, here and there, and because they are so entwined, I know there is a lot I am probably missing I would like to eventually reread everything of hers I ve ever picked up, in succession. At first when I picked up this book, I didn t know what I was getting into The first few pages of the novel feel disjointed, I couldn t quite tell whose perspective I was reading at any given time It took me a while to get on board with Erdrich s 1997 novel which turns out to be fucking spectacular.If you like Magical Realism I feel the need to point that out early on enough in my review so those who are opposed to that classification can skim this review since it may not be appealing to all.I m not always into Magical Realism either, but when it works, it works And this one works.The story follows the Roy and Shawano families over however many years I hesitate to call it an epic, because as far as epics go, this is a short novel less than 250 pages But Erdrich manages to include so much family history without going overboard All of their stories are here, but in lyrical, glorious passages teeming with Native American mythology and symbols I absolutely loved that.There is a section told from the point of view of a dog Dogs have voices and can speak to each other in Erdrich s novel, though it s not a frequent practice It s just another part of the family mythology.I thought than once about Leslie Marmon Silko s Almanac of the Dead that I read not that long ago, and where Silko s novel is much larger, denser, and violent, Erdrich covers a lot of the same ground in fewer pages and less violence I felt a connection to Erdrich s characters that I did not always feel towards some of Silko s But I m not here to compare and contrast the two novels, and if you disliked Almanac of the Dead WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU , that doesn t mean you would dislike The Antelope Wife.It s hard for me to discuss the story because I feel I would just be copying down all of Erdrich s words A review can t give the book justice because a part of experiencing this book is reading Erdrich s lyrical voice There s not a lot of dialogue so it s a very internalized story we are in the minds of the characters often than not This is not always easy to do I have easily complained about other books that attempt and fail at that Erdrich does not fail, nor does she disappoint.I recommend trying to read as much as you can when you do sit down with this As previously stated, it took me a while to get into the groove of the writing and therefore missed where the story started It s easy to put down because the sections are so short, but I found a higher appreciation for three fourths of the novel once I committed to reading it as much as possible, and not putting it down every section.This won t be my last Erdrich. The Antelope Wife combines Native mysticism and legend with the multi generational stories of the Roy and Shawano families Linked by one woman, she will bring their destinies full circle.Written in lyrical prose and infused with haunting imagery, the story alternates between grief and acceptance, with a rare glimpse of joy I only started to enjoy the book about halfway through The characters and stories before that come and go quickly and with little ceremony, which made it hard to figure out who or what to invest in However, there were family members in the second half which I really came to care for.Erdrich writes family so well She is really able to get into their hearts and souls and convey their thoughts and feelings to the reader Characters have their own true voices and are consistent to their traits 3.5 and a good read.

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Author Biography

Louise Erdrich is one of the most gifted, prolific, and challenging of contemporary Native American novelists Born in 1954 in Little Falls, Minnesota, she grew up mostly in Wahpeton, North Dakota, where her parents taught at Bureau of Indian Affairs schools Her fiction reflects aspects of her mixed heritage German through her father, and French and Ojibwa through her mother She worked at various jobs, such as hoeing sugar beets, farm work, waitressing, short order cooking, lifeguarding, and construction work, before becoming a writer She attended the Johns Hopkins creative writing program and received fellowships at the McDowell Colony and the Yaddo Colony After she was named writer in residence at Dartmouth, she married professor Michael Dorris and raised several children, some of them adopted She and Michael became a picture book husband and wife writing team, though they wrote only one truly collaborative novel, The Crown of Columbus 1991.

The Antelope Wife was published in 1998, not long after her separation from Michael and his subsequent suicide Some reviewers believed they saw in The Antelope Wife the anguish Erdrich must have felt as her marriage crumbled, but she has stated that she is unconscious of having mirrored any real life events.

She is the author of four previous bestselling andaward winning novels, including Love Medicine The Beet Queen Tracks and The Bingo Palace She also has written two collections of poetry, Jacklight, and Baptism of Desire. Her fiction has been honored by the National Book Critics Circle 1984 and The Los Angeles Times 1985 , and has been translated into fourteen languages

Several of her short stories have been selected for O Henry awards and for inclusion in the annual Best American Short Story anthologies The Blue Jay s Dance, a memoir of motherhood, was her first nonfiction work, and her children s book, Grandmother s Pigeon, has been published by Hyperion Press She lives in Minnesota with her children, who help her run a small independent bookstore called The Birchbark.

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  • Hardcover
  • 256 pages
  • The Antelope Wife
  • Louise Erdrich
  • English
  • 28 December 2019
  • 9780060187262

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