Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Books: The Night Watchman


Louise Erdrich has made a career telling stories derived from her Native American heritage, and she tells a very personal one in The Night Watchman.  The book is inspired by the real-life experiences of Erdrich's grandfather in resisting the Indian termination policies of the 1950s. The author pairs that interesting political drama with slice-of-life vignettes about the families and foibles of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa.

The problem here is that those slices don't quite make up a cake.  Erdrich's style and characters are reminiscent of Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, but without his flair for humor.  The result is a lukewarm mash of incidents that is only occasionally perked up by ruminations on the relationship of the indigenous peoples to the white man. It's an okay book overall, but not enough happens in the story for me to recommend it.


Post a Comment

<< Home