Native American Authors list
Karen Louise Erdrich, was born June 7, 1954, to Ralph and Rita Erdrich in Little Falls, Minn. Raised in Wahpeton, N.D., with her six younger siblings, Erdrich is of mixed racial ancestry. Her father is German American, and her mother is half-French and half-Ojibwe Indian. A graduate of Dartmouth College with a Master of Fine Arts degree from John Hopkins University, Erdrich’s won a 1984 National Book Critics Circle Award for her first novel, Love Medicine. After that, Erdrich went on to write three works of poetry and nonfiction apiece, several short stories, a handful of children’s books and a dozen novels, including 2001’s The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse—a National Book Award finalist—and The Plague of Doves—Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winner and a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Erdrich has called her father “my biggest literary influence, ” as he wrote letters to her as a child when he was away on National Guard business. Erdrich also describes her maternal grandfather, Patrick Gourneau, former Chippewa tribal chairman, as “a fascinating storyteller.” Michael Dorris, Erdrich’s late ex-husband, was a longtime collaborator of hers. The two wrote 1991’s The Crown of Columbus together but divorced in 1995. Two years later Dorris killed himself amid sex abuse allegations made by the couple’s children. Today Erdrich owns independent bookstore Birchbark Books and lives in Minnesota. More »
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