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The Red Convertible Hardcover – January 6, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061536075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061536076
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,269,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Masculine women, gorgeous sports cars rich with family history, rugged plains, river currents, stubbornness and entropy wend through this spellbinding collection of ten new and 26 previously published stories from prolific Midwestern author Erdrich (The Plague of Doves). Many of Erdrich's protagonists are American Indians (Chipewa, Kapshaw, and Ojibwe feature prominently) of mixed ancestry (French, German, etc.) and difficult means. Erdrich's character-driven stories are rooted in the mystery of the everyday, stretched across the bones of folklore but cured in the brine of modern life: "as an Indian," Gerry finds it " difficult... to retain the good humor of his ancestors in these modern circumstances"; another protagonist concludes that "the only interesting Indian is dead, or dying by falling backwards off a horse." Absurdity and a strained sense of humor keep Eldrich's closely observed tales fresh, making it clear that the life of an "interesting Indian" takes many shapes. An exquisite anthology, this volume should cement Erdrich's reputation as one of contemporary America's best short fiction writers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

In this retrospective anthology, Louise Erdrich interweaves history, myth, tragedy, comedy, earthiness, spirituality, sensitivity, and violence—creating a "magnificent feast" from this "all-you-can-eat buffet of stories" (Baltimore Sun). Critics praised Erdrich's wry humor, vivid, lyrical language, and extraordinary ability to distill entire lives and family histories into a few pages. Fans of Erdrich will welcome old friends such as Gerry Nanapush, Margaret Kashpaw, and Fleur Pillager, while newcomers will find these stories a warm and hospitable place to start. Though the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel considered her newer stories less compelling—partly because of the absence of Erdrich's poetic Native American characters and settings—the other critics enjoyed them. These powerful, evocative stories are an eloquent tribute to Erdrich's career to date.
Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC

More About the Author

Louise Erdrich is the author of twelve novels as well as volumes of poetry, children's books, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her debut novel, Love Medicine, won the National Book Critics Circle Award. The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent novel, The Plague of Doves, a New York Times bestseller, received the highest praise from Philip Roth, who wrote, "Louise Erdrich's imaginative freedom has reached its zenith--The Plague of Doves is her dazzling masterpiece." Louise Erdrich lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
Have been enjoying it and look forward to the rest.
Gretchen Rohrbeck
She offers strong and clear insight to the perspective of Native-American culture and history.
Jason Katz
The characterizations here are unique and yet very human.
Z Hayes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jason Katz on January 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was first smitten with Louise Erdrich's writing by reading her "Tracks",
which I found utterly spellbinding. I was disappointed with two other of her books, Love Medicine and The Bingo Palace, but The Red Convertible, a collection of her short stories, is a collection that I did not want to end. Aside from some very dark recesses into troubled human souls, characters and actions, I find her imagery deliciously rich, imaginative, tactile and wonderful. I love her use and involvement with magical and surreal imagery, and as a whole this book restores my faith in her talents
as one of my very favorite authors. Her style is, as with Tracks, an overlapping, shifting of narratives and characters at different stages in their lives. She offers strong and clear insight to the perspective of
Native-American culture and history. After several of her stories one feels as if the unpredictable is expected and as if the writer is one part
Erdrich, one part Alfred Hitchcock. Overall a top-notch read by a truly
insightful, image-rich and soulful writer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I love short stories and though I'm new to Louise Erdrich's works, I found this collection to be a literary cornucopia of insightful stories into the human psyche interwoven with various themes ranging from the tragic to the comedic and more.

The 36 stories here are arranged chronologically and reveal Ms Erdrich's consummate narrative skills - some of my personal favorites were "Saint Marie" in which an Indian girl at a convent takes on an abusive nun, "A Father's Milk" where a soldier ordered to annihilate an Indian village rescues a baby girl as an act of repentance, "The Butcher's Wife" which is a blend of comedy and tragedy, among others.

The characterizations here are unique and yet very human. As a reader, not only was I profoundly touched by some of these stories, but also awed by the richness of these characters, some of whom prove quite memorable. I truly look forward to discovering her other works.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Kramer on June 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am a Louise Erdrich fan and have read most of her novels. This book however weighed me down and I was anxious to finish it. The writing was excellent as always but the stories were so powerful and filled with tragedy and trouble that I found them hard to read: maybe because the stories are compressed as opposed to her novels where the heavy parts aren't so concentrated.

My favorite story was "A Wedge of Shade".
"I drag more pillows down from the other rooms upstairs. There is no question of attempting the bedrooms, the stifling beds. And so, in the dark, I hold hands with Gerry as he settles down between my mother and me. He is huge as a hill between the two of us, solid in the beating wind."
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Format: Hardcover
Louise Erdrich is considered one of America's most prolific and highly respected fiction writers. Her tales of Native American life in modern America and her historical renderings of the rich and complex past of the Ojibwa nation (which is part of her family background) are filled with the kind of details that make you feel as if her life --- and the lives of those she writes about --- intersects yours at some very telling destinations. Family relations, love and marriage, children and domestic life, the past and the present, as well as the hopes of the future, are all points of light within her literary scope.

THE RED CONVERTIBLE is a testament to the far-reaching diversity of her writing; these are stories collected from works, published and unpublished (six of them have never been in print before), for the last 30 years. Erdrich has ordered them chronologically but also by theme and voice. They cover a wealth and breadth of material that shows off all her skills in varying degrees of drama.

There are people in dire straits ("Snares") and young women finding their voice and themselves ("Saint Marie"). What ensues throughout THE RED CONVERTIBLE is this sense that the panoply of experience that defines the characters in Erdrich's world (she is particularly good at redefining the voices of young characters, teens stuck in uncomfortable voids and dramatic situations) would each make particularly moving films. Most of the experiences are fraught with great pain and anger, as people are at odds with one another over some of the most basic concerns of humankind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert P-Idaho on July 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Louise Erdrich could thrill me with a written grocery list! Her books are the types that move you to say at the end, What a book, and then sit there mesmerized! She instills a deep emotion within, which I cherish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary Korduner on November 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I always rejoice when there is a new Louise Erdich book that I haven't read yet. I always get something out of it and really enjoy the ride. I feel like her characters are my family. Who I get to meet and know through these stories. This is an excellent representative collection.
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By Sally Moylan on June 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I truly enjoy Louise Erdrich's style of writing and her imagination. I have also read the Round House and enjoyed it very much too.
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