The Antelope Wife

Louise Erdrich, Author HarperCollins Publishers $24 (240p) ISBN 978-0-06-018726-2
""Family stories repeat themselves in patterns and waves, generation to generation, across blood and time."" Erdrich (Love Medicine, etc.) embroiders this theme in a sensuous novel that brings her back to the material she knows best, the emotionally dislocated lives of Native Americans who try to adhere to the tribal ways while yielding to the lure of the general culture. In a beautifully articulated tale of intertwined relationships among succeeding generations, she tells the story of the Roy and the Shawano families and their ""colliding histories and destinies."" The narrative begins like a fever dream with a U.S. cavalry attack on an Ojibwa village, the death of an old woman who utters a fateful word, the inadvertent kidnapping of a baby and a mother's heartbreaking quest. The descendants of the white soldier who takes the baby and of the bereaved Ojibwa mother are connected by a potent mix of tragedy, farce and mystical revelation. As time passes, there is another kidnapping, the death of a child and a suicide. Fates are determined by a necklace of blue beads, a length of sweetheart calico and a recipe for blitzkuchen. Though the saga is animated by obsessional love, mysterious disappearances, mythic legends and personal frailties, Erdrich also works in a comic vein. There's a dog who tells dirty jokes and a naked wife whose anniversary surprise has an audience. Throughout, Erdrich emphasizes the paradoxes of everyday life: braided grandmas who follow traditional ways and speak the old language also wear eyeliner and sneakers. In each generation, men and women are bewitched by love, lust and longing; they are slaves to drink, to carefully guarded secrets or to the mesmerizing power of hope. Though the plot sometimes bogs down from an overload of emotional complications, the novel ultimately celebrates the courage of following one's ordained path in the universe and meeting the challenges of fate. It is an assured example of Erdrich's storytelling skills. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/30/1998
Release date: 04/01/1998
Show other formats
FORMATS
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-694-51922-4
Hardcover - 313 pages - 978-1-56895-614-5
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-06-093007-3
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-06-115909-1
Book - 978-0-06-082447-1
Book - 978-0-06-082446-4
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 256 pages - 978-0-06-084743-2
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-06-084746-3
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-06-173797-8
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-00-713636-0
Paperback - 276 pages - 978-0-06-176796-8
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-06-221316-7
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.