I first read this book for a Native American literature class at the U of AZ. I purchased to reread at a more leisurly pace and found it more rewarding. Thanks to Dr. Washburn for explaing the symbology and helping me to appreciate Native writers. I was fond of Almost Soup and his place in the book.
"The Antelope Wife" is a very fluid narrative that is heavily steeped in magical realism. I found the characters especially engaging, despite the fact that the book jumped between several generations and points of view. A soldier finds he is able to nurse an orphan child, and later his own son. A trader abducts a woman he desires who is part antelope, but this act brings no alleviation of his longing for her.
As usual, Erdrich's prose is the big selling point for me. Her imagery just melts over the mind. I can be at the laundromat, surrounded by humming machines and TVs turned to cable news, and I will still find myself removed to the settings she describes.
At the same time, the book had extremely funny moments, making for a really potent mixture of heartbreak and hilarity that is found in real life.
This is a great book full of great stories and a wicked sense of humor.
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