The Round House

Louise Erdrich has earned many awards for her latest novel, The Round House. It includes yet another instance of her daring jousting with stereoype and Native identity, the clash of race and culture, and complex nuances of reservation life. Reviewers generally focus on the adolescent boy seeking revenge for the vicious rape of his mother. That is the heart of the story but spiraling around it is an enormous amount of storytelling–family stories, Indian myth and foklore–about the moral life and sense of justice that explain what happens and justify the conclusion. It’s really epic in scope and deserves re-reading to appreciate the techniques and themes. One thing that seems new is Erdrich’s use of a male narrator, the young boy who is remembering the story in his maturity. His narrative voice seems completely credible.  It’s a brilliant novel.