Approaches to Teaching the Works of Louise Erdrich

  • Editors: Greg Sarris, Connie A. Jacobs, James R. Giles
  • Pages: ix & 261 pp.
  • Published: 2004
  • ISBN: 9780873529150 (Paperback)
Approaches to Teaching the Works of Louise Erdrich Cover
Paperback ($19.75)

“This book will be an essential addition to the library of those who teach Erdrich’s work, and it can be helpful for those interested in the complexities of the intersection between folklore and literature.”

Journal of American Folklore

This volume seeks to enrich teachers—and students—understanding of the fictional world Louise Erdrich creates and to address the challenges of teaching her novels and poetry.

The first part of the book provides background readings that establish a context for teaching Erdrich and acquaint teachers with Native American traditions, history, customs, and culture—especially those of the Ojibwe, or Chippewa. In the second section, experienced teachers of Erdrich discuss the strategies they use to engage students in a sometimes unfamiliar world. Essays provide information on Erdrich’s tribe, the Turtle Mountain Chippewa of North Dakota, and an overview of tribal history for the past 150 years; sort through Erdrich’s large cast of fictional characters, with their complicated family ties and clan relationships; examine her collaborative relationship with her late husband, Michael Dorris; and offer analysis, cultural references, and approaches to teaching Erdrich’s most widely anthologized poems.