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Love Medicine: Newly Revised Edition (P.S.)…

Love Medicine: Newly Revised Edition (P.S.) (original 1984; edition 2009)

by Louise Erdrich

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2,490442,452 (3.9)112
Title:Love Medicine: Newly Revised Edition (P.S.)
Authors:Louise Erdrich
Info:Harper Perennial (2009), Edition: Revised, Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library

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Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich (1984)


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Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Native American on the skids and in love. Good author.
Noted during my 1980's attempt to read every book in my small town library.
  juniperSun | Dec 4, 2014 |
(this review was originally written for Bookslut)

Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich is exactly what I would want out of a "Best Books" list. Something unexpected but brilliant, foreign yet familiar. Love Medicine has a little bit of everything, all centered in a place rarely visited by most fiction: a reservation.

Erdrich shouldn't be new to me, but she is. Her novel Tracks was an assigned text in college, in one of those rare classes where you couldn't slide by without reading the books. But somehow or another, I slid by, only reading twenty pages or so. It's not that it wasn't good, but it was college, and there were so many other interesting things to do. Having read Love Medicine now, I would rearrange my to-read pile to put Tracks closer to the top, but I think it's been lent out somewhere, and has yet to find its way back home.

Going and finding home are themes that run throughout Love Medicine, which is not so much a novel as a collection of short stories that wind tightly into each other. Each story bleeds through the rest, as we see the same characters over and over again, at different stages of their lives. Some stories take us far from the North Dakota reservation most of the characters would call home, while a many never leave it. But all those that leave eventually return. "The Red Convertible" winds from Winnipeg through Montana and Washington before heading back home. "Saint Marie" treks up the hill to the convent and then back down again to the reservation. The characters of Love Medicine have a sense of home that few of us do anymore.

To have such a fierce connection to a particular place is indeed unusual in this modern age of rootlessness. I read this book in Michigan, visiting my husband's parents, after having visited my own in Kansas, but I was soon to return to Arizona, where I am living now, far from any family of either my husband's or myself. Love Medicine made me yearn for a home like that, even despite the price some of the characters pay for the strength of their bonds.

For instance, in my favorite story of the collection, "Scales," home is not so much a place for Gerry as it is a person, Dot. So time after time, after breaking out of prison (and bragging that "no steel or concrete shitbarn could hold a Chippewa,") Gerry returns to Dot. Never mind that Gerry is 6'2" and no good at hiding. Never mind that every time, sooner or later the police show up at Dot's place looking for Gerry. For Gerry, Dot is home, and there is no place else he wants to be.

Erdrich's writing is simple and powerful, and above all else it is captivating. Her stories ring with both magic and truth. Whether you consider Love Medicine to be a collection of short stories or a novel, it is truly a gem of a book. ( )
  greeniezona | Sep 20, 2014 |
Love Medicine is a complicated but brilliantly compelling series of short stories that weave together the saga of the Kashpaws and the Lamartines. The characters are fascinating and solidly drawn, easily becoming real for the reader. Although some readers may find the stories wildly disorganized, taken separately or on the whole, I loved them. Louise Erdrich has a powerful voice and point-of-view, and if you can manage to just absorb her words, you too will fall in love with her style and writing. ( )
  susanbevans | Jul 1, 2014 |
native american
  timelord1 | May 9, 2014 |
Less a traditional novel than a series of vignettes in the lives of several generations of Native Americans living on a Chippewa reservation on the high plains. In some ways, this is a fine book. This one is Erdrich's first novel, but you wouldn't know it: her prose is confident, polished, and decidedly literary and her characters are well formed. She comes up with more a couple of memorable characters -- my personal favorite was dreamy, lost Lipsha Morrisey -- though I felt that some of her older female characters occasionally drifted toward cliché. The book's also got a strong sense of place -- Erdrich's good at capturing the harshness and emptiness of the badlands. Erdrich never lets the reader forget that these characters all share a hard life in a hard place.

And that's the problem that I've got with "Love Medicine," really. I don't usually understand it when readers complain that a book is "too depressing:" sadness is where literature comes from, after all. But this one tested my patience. Erdrich presents modern Native American life as a nearly continuous series of tragedies, a continual downward slide. I don't know if this was her intention, but it bogs the book down considerably. Erdrich's style may be impressive, but I sometimes felt that its decidedly deliberate pacing and its literary diction didn't do her subject matter any favors. It's well-composed and well-constructed, but somehow inert. "Love Medicine" sometimes feels like the novelistic equivalent of a black-on-black painting. Too much. Despite its obvious strengths, I struggled to finish this one. ( )
1 vote TheAmpersand | Mar 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
''Love Medicine'' is an engrossing book. With this impressive debut Louise Erdrich enters the company of America's better novelists, and I'm certain readers will want to see more from this imaginative and accomplished young writer
There are at least a dozen of the many vividly drawn people in this first novel who will not leave the mind once they are let in. Their power comes from Louise Erdrich's mastery of words. Nobody really talks the way they do, but the language of each convinces you you have heard them speaking all your life, and that illusion draws you quickly into their world, a place of poor shacks stuck amid the wrecks of old cars and other junk made beautiful in Miss Erdrich's evocation.
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Grandma Mary Gourneau, Gertrude Crow Dog and my brothers Mark, Louis, Terry (Amikoos), and Raoul, and my friend Earl Livermore were some people especially in my thoughts as I wrote this book. I could not have written it this way without Michael Dorris, who gave his own ideas, experiences, and devoted attention to the writing. This book is dedicated to him because he is so much a part of it.
Grandma Mary Gourneau, Gertrude Crow Dog, and by brothers Mark, Louis, Tery (Amikoos), and Raoul, and my friend Earl Livermore were some people especially in my thoughts as I wrote this book. I could not have written it this way without Michael Dorris, who gave his own ideas, experiences,m and devoted attention to the writing. This book is dedicated to him because he is so much a part of it.
First words
The morning before Easter Sunday, June Kapshaw was walking down the clogged main street of oil boomtown Williston, North Dakota, killing time before the noon bus arrived that would take her home.
The morning before Easter Sunday, June Kashpaw was walking down the clogged main street of the oil boomtown Williston, North Dakota, killing time before the noon bus arrived that would take her home.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060786469, Paperback)

The stunning first novel in Louise Erdrich's Native American series, Love Medicine tells the story of two families -- the Kashpaws and the Lamartines. Written in Erdrich's uniquely poetic, powerful style, it is a multigenerational portrait of strong men and women caught in an unforgettable drama of anger, desire, and the healing power that is love medicine.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:46 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The lives and destinies of the Kashpaws and the Lamartines intertwine on and around a North Dakota Indian reservation from 1934 to 1984, in an authentic tale of survival, tenacity, tradition, injustice, and love.

(summary from another edition)

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