And then BAM.
Just like that Louise Erdrich was nominated alongside Kevin Powers for the National Book Award. When Erdrich’s THE ROUND HOUSE won out over Powers, Dave Eggers’ A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING and Junot Diaz’s THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE HER, our curiosities were peaked.
I happened to pick up a copy of THE ROUND HOUSE at my NYC holiday book club exchange (what a thrill to get an expensive hard cover copy for free) and began reading it on the subway home that night. Once the story began, I couldn’t put it down. THE ROUND HOUSE chronicles a boy and his family after his mother is attacked and brutally raped. In her trauma, she is unable to relive the details of her attack, which leaves the police, her husband Bazil, and her son Joe to embark on separate journeys to discover the identity of the attacker. Frustrated by the snail’s pace of the investigation, thirteen year old Joe gathers his three best friends and together they embark on a trail to find and exact revenge.
The New York Times reported that in Ms. Erdrich’s acceptance speech, “She said she wanted to acknowledge ‘the grace and endurance of native women.’ She added: ‘This is a book about a huge case of injustice ongoing on reservations. Thank you for giving it a wider audience.'”
Ms. Erdrich’s book has certainly gained a wide audience, and for it’s compelling character development and story telling, we henceforth will call her a true Literary Lady. Can’t wait to read more of her extraordinary fiction.