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The Painted Drum: A Novel (original 2005; edition 2005)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060515112, Paperback)
While appraising the estate of a New Hampshire family descended from a North Dakota Indian agent, Faye Travers is startled to discover a rare moose skin and cedar drum fashioned long ago by an Ojibwe artisan. And so begins an illuminating journey both backward and forward in time, following the strange passage of a powerful yet delicate instrument, and revealing the extraordinary lives it has touched and defined.
Compelling and unforgettable, Louise Erdrich's Painted Drum explores the often fraught relationship between mothers and daughters, the strength of family, and the intricate rhythms of grief with all the grace, wit, and startling beauty that characterizes this acclaimed author's finest work.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:27 -0400)
"When a woman named Faye Travers is called upon to appraise the estate of a family in her small New Hampshire town, she isn't surprised to discover a forgotten cache of valuable Native American artifacts. After all, the family descends from an Indian agent who worked on the North Dakota Ojibwe reservation that is home to her mother's family. However, she stops dead in her tracks when she finds in the collection a rare drum - a powerful yet delicate object, made from a massive moose skin stretched across a hollow of cedar, ornamented with symbols she doesn't recognize and dressed in red tassels and a beaded belt and skirt - especially since, without touching the instrument, she hears it sound." "From Faye's discovery, we trace the drum's passage both backward and forward in time, from the reservation on the northern plains to New Hampshire and back. Through the voice of Bernard Shaawano, an Ojibwe, we hear how his grandfather fashioned the drum after years of mourning his young daughter's death, and how it changes the lives of those whose paths its crosses. And through Faye we hear of her anguished relationship with a local sculptor, who himself mourns the loss of a daughter, and of the life she has made alone with her mother, in the shadow of the death of Faye's sister." "Through these voices, The Painted Drum explores the strange power that lost children exert on the memories of those they leave behind, and as the novel unfolds, its narrative comes to embody the intricate, transformative rhythms of human grief."--BOOK JACKET.
(summary from another edition)
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