A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich, is a gripping novel about a long-unsolved crime in a small North Dakota ...Show synopsisA finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich, is a gripping novel about a long-unsolved crime in a small North Dakota town and how, years later, the consequences are still being felt by the community and nearby Ojibwe reservation. Though generations have passed, the town of Pluto continues to be haunted by the murder of a farm family. Evelina Harp--part Ojibwe, part white--is an ambitious young girl whose grandfather, a repository of family and tribal history, harbors knowledge of the violent past. And Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, who bears witness, understands the weight of historical injustice better than anyone. Through the distinct and winning voices of three unforgettable narrators, the collective stories of two interwoven communities ultimately come together to reveal a final wrenching truth. National Book Award-winning author of The Round House, Louise Erdrich delves into the fraught waters of historical injustice and the impact of secrets kept too long. Told with heartbreak and humor, this Harper Perennial Deluxe Modern Classic features beautiful cover artwork on uncoated stock, French flaps, and deckle-edge pages.Hide synopsis
The Plague of Doves (Harperluxe) – Trade paperback (2008)
Trade paperback, Harperluxe 2008
Large type / large print.
ISBN: 0061562750 ISBN-13: 9780061562754
Louise Erdrich's mesmerizing new novel, her first in almost three years, centers on a compelling mystery. The unsolved murder of a farm family haunts the small, white, off-reservation town of Pluto, North Dakota. The vengeance exacted for this crime and the subsequent distortions of truth transform the lives of Ojibwe living on the nearby reservation and shape the passions of both communities for the next generation. The descendants of Ojibwe and white intermarry, their lives intertwine; only the youngest generation, of ...Show moreLouise Erdrich's mesmerizing new novel, her first in almost three years, centers on a compelling mystery. The unsolved murder of a farm family haunts the small, white, off-reservation town of Pluto, North Dakota. The vengeance exacted for this crime and the subsequent distortions of truth transform the lives of Ojibwe living on the nearby reservation and shape the passions of both communities for the next generation. The descendants of Ojibwe and white intermarry, their lives intertwine; only the youngest generation, of mixed blood, remains unaware of the role the past continues to play in their lives. Evelina Harp is a witty, ambitious young girl, part Ojibwe, part white, who is prone to falling hopelessly in love. Mooshum, Evelina's grandfather, is a seductive storyteller, a repository of family and tribal history with an all-too-intimate knowledge of the violent past. Nobody understands the weight of historical injustice better than Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, a thoughtful mixed blood who witnesses the lives of those who appear before him, and whose own love life reflects the entire history of the territory. In distinct and winning voices, Erdrich's narrators unravel the stories of different generations and families in this corner of North Dakota. Bound by love, torn by history, the two communities' collective stories finally come together in a wrenching truth revealed in the novel's final pages. The Plague of Doves is one of the major achievements of Louise Erdrich's considerable oeuvre, a quintessentially American story and the most complex and original of her books.Hide
I think I will remember this book for a very long time as that which introduced me to Louise Erdrich, because after picking up "The Plague of Doves," I want to read her entire canon. This does not happen often. It happened when I first read Margaret Atwood, but I cannot think of any other author whose work so captivated me on the first reading.
At times hilarious, morose, disturbing, and utterly heart-breaking, "The Plague of Doves," weaves together multiple narrators who offer their own perspectives on their small town of Pluto, North Dakota, and two terrible linked crimes which occurred there shortly after the turn of the century. This is one of those novels that in its own way defies "aboutness." Yes, there is a plot, but the book is so much more than what happens in it. The honesty of her characters and the vividness of their joys and trials is so real that their passions and sorrows practically infiltrate the reader's own and it's all a person can do to stop thinking about the book and its characters when going about one's day.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. As I stated at the beginning, from here on out I will be picking up anything from Louise Erdrich that I can get my hands on.
I echo the above first review in all respects and can't find anything to add to the description of the novel. The tale is gripping and both artistically and technically beyond reproach. It created for me the paradox of wanting to know the denouement of each character and their story, but feeling reluctant finish. The entails some reflection on the part of the reader when Erdrich ties together the loose ends. Aside from the beauty of the book, the need to reflect contributes to its haunting qualities.
Louise Erdrich is mapping out territory whose predecessors are Gabriel Garcia Marquez and William Faulkner. By employing multiple narrative voices, she is forging a wholly imagined world within the restricted geography of the Plains, and in doing so dramatizes the intertwined fates of her Indian and white characters. In The Plague of Doves, she weaves a masterful multigenerational tale that begins with the murder of a white family--whose infant is spirited away by a Native American character--and the hanging of three men and a boy, one of whom survives, in the practice of vigilante "rough justice." This crime from the past infects the dying present of Pluto, a settlement on the edge of the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota, as the lives of the ancestors of both victims and victimizers become helplessly braided in love, guilt, mania, and loss. This is the sort of ambitious novelistic mural of a whole community that Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison was once capable of.
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