The Round House by Louise Erdrich
reviewed by Rita Loibl
Louise Erdrich recently won the prestigious National Book Award for her latest novel, “The Round House”, set on a reservation in her native North Dakota. In this novel, Joe, a sheltered 13-year-old, must come to terms with crime, justice and adult sexuality after his mother is brutally raped. She is so traumatized that she will not speak of the incident or name her attacker. Joe’s father, a tribal judge, tries to bring normalcy back to the family as he seeks desperately to solve the crime. His hands are somewhat tied as the attack took place at the intersection of native and state lands – the jurisdiction isn’t clear. Authorities may not be able to bring about justice, even after a clear suspect emerges. This frustrates Joe, so along with his trusted friends Cappy, Zack and Angus, he decides to take matters into his own hands.
The characters and setting of “The Round House” are a part of a larger story Erdrich has been telling most of her career. Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Bank of Chippewa. The old wounds of violated treaties and boarding house education that stripped American Indians of their language and culture resurface in this story.
Louise Erdrich has written fourteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, short stories, children’s books and a memoir of early motherhood. She lives in Minnesota and is the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore.
This fascinating and nationally acclaimed book can be check out at the McVille Community Library.
The McVille Community Library opening reception for the “Sundogs and Sunflowers” exhibit was a wonderful time of sharing art, crafts and stories. Attendees enjoyed the work of fiber artist, Novina West of Tolna, wheat weaving demonstrations by Elizabeth Stomme of Aneta, and the stitching artistry of Gayle Haabak and Jan Thompson of McVille. Each artist was so generous to share their time, skill, and beautiful works of art. The library also had two special quilts on display, a quilt stitched in 1910 on loan from Betty Ann Bina and a hand-appliqued Christmas quilt crafted by Gayle Anderson.
Troyd Geist, folklorist at the North Dakota Council on the Arts and one of the authors of the book, “Sundogs and Sunflowers”, gave readings from the book, shared stories, and answered many questions. He also welcomed the stories of those in the audience and gave insight into the possible origins and importance of stories passed down through generations. His knowledge and love of the folklore of the Great Plains was evident as he gave his presentation and visited afterward with those in attendance. The McVille Community Library would like to thank all who participated in and attended this event.
McVille Community Library Books and Crafts
On October 29th the McVille Community Library held its first monthly Books and Crafts event. A big thanks to Haley Klefstad for planning and organizing these events. The theme was Halloween and the kids came in costume. In addition to the stories and crafts, they enjoyed rambling through the library for books and movies to take home. A good time was had by all. You can check out all the pictures on the McVille Community Library Facebook page.
The next Books and Crafts event will be on Saturday, November 12th from 1:00 – 4:00pm. The theme will be Thanksgiving. Kids of all ages are welcome. There will be treats and juice for the kids and as always, we have a pot of coffee waiting for visitors. We hope you will join us. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Join us on Thursday, November 10th, 7:00 pm for the first of our Elderspeak series. Our goal is to preserve the valuable memories of an experienced generation for future generations. The first presentation will be a panel of talks by Morris Aaser, World War II veteran; Elmer Bjorlie, Korean War veteran, Ric Gardiner, Vietnam War veteran and Judy Sateren, who was a member of the Women’s Army Corp (WAC) when it assimilated to regular Army in 1978. Come listen to them speak of their experiences about three very different wars and women in the Army. Refreshments will be served.
ALL EVENTS WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE McVILLE COMMUNITY LIBRARY, LOWER LEVEL, CITY AUDITORIUM