Saturday, June 16, 2012

Plague of Doves Recap

The book group discussed The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich on Tuesday night. Here are some interesting things that came up during the discussion.

-My favorite quote from The Plague of Doves:
But every so often something shatters like ice and we are in the river of our existence. We are aware.

- Erdrich has been compared to William Faulkner "for her tangled family trees, her ventriloquist skill, and her expansive use of a fictional province no less fully imagined than Yoknapatawpha County" (Paris Review)

-Mooshum is a trickster character according to one reviewer.  He does not behave according to convention, is often funny, and his storytelling cannot be relied upon as wholly truthful.

- Some reviewers wished The Plague of Doves came with a genealogy chart. In her interview with the Paris Review the author admits that she can't keep all of her characters straight; her copy editor does. There must be at least twenty characters in The Plague of Doves, and four narrators; the Boston Globe called the effect "centrifugal".

- A book group member who has read a lot of Erdrich recommends The Master Butchers Singing Club, her favorite. She also liked Love Medicine and The Beet Queen.

-If you are ever in Minneapolis, stop by the author's bookstore, Birchbark Books. They have a canoe hanging from the ceiling and an old confessional renamed "the forgiveness booth."  Some of their books are written in Ojibwe.

- According to this web page English words derived from the Ojibwe language include: Mississippi "Miziziibi"(large water), moccasin "makizin," moose "mooz," pecan "bagaan" (nut), toboggan "zhooshkodaabaan," Milwaukee "mino-aki".

No comments: