Pile byt the Bed reviews The Sentence by American indigenous author Louise Erdrich set in a small Minneapolic bookstore impacted by the tumultuous events of 2020.
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Dystopia has a long history in literary fiction. A breakdown in social order, or a reshaping of society, is a useful lens through which we can examine our own society and actions. So it comes as no surprise that Native American author Louise Erdrich is another in a long line of literary writers who have taken on dystopia. The dystopian present creeps up slowly in Future Home of the Living God. The opening passage has narrator Cedar Hawk Springmaker – ‘the adopted child of Minneapolis liberals’ – heading to an Ojibwe reservation to meet her Native American birth-family. She does mention in this opening passage that ‘Our world is running backward. Or forward. Or maybe sideways, in a way as yet ungrasped.’ Cedar is four months pregnant but this is a secret that she has kept from her adopted family. Of all the sections of the novel, Erdrich treats those on the Ojibwe reservation with a refreshing naturalism. Cedar arrives to find very few of her preconceptions of her birth family met. While she seems to have a very Native American name, her birth name was Mary Potts. Her mother is welcoming but not apologetic about Cedar’s life and her…
Pile by the Bed reviews Prom Mom by Laura Lippman, a novel set during Covid in Baltimore but which explores the long term aftermath of a high school tragedy.
Pile by the Bed reviews And Then She Fell by Alicia Elliot a debut novel centering around a Mohawk woman dealing with motherhood and life away from her cultural support system.
Pile by the Bed reviews Bad Cree by Jessica Johns an Indigenous horror story that explores issues of resilience in the face of the impacts of colonisation, exploitation and cultural loss.
Pile by the Bed reviews Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandel, a literary science fiction tale that is part auto-fiction but also wraps in characters and siutations from her last two books.