Meet the Author: Louise Erdrich


Thursday, December 2, 2021

5:00 PM to 6:00 PM Central Time (US & Canada)


This program is free an open to all, and will be held virtually on Zoom. The registration period has closed for this event.

The Newberry is using a new registration system for our free public programs; please create an account if you haven't already. After clicking the 'Register Now' button, you'll be prompted to either input your login information or click 'Create an Account and Register.'

NOTE: You can also watch a live stream of the program, without registering in advance, on the Newberry Facebook page or YouTube channel.



Tune in for a special meet-the-author event with Louise Erdrich, who will be introduced by poet Mark Turcotte and joined by Native American literature scholar Kelly Wisecup for a conversation about her latest novel, The Sentence.

The Sentence asks what we owe to the living, to the dead, to the reader, and to the book. A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store's most annoying customer.

Flora dies on All Souls' Day, but she simply won't leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading with murderous attention, must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.

The Sentence begins on All Souls' Day 2019 and ends on All Souls' Day 2020. Its mystery and proliferating ghost stories during this one year propel a narrative as rich, emotional, and profound as anything Louise Erdrich has written.

Purchase The Sentence online from the Newberry Bookshop.

This program is cosponsored by the Newberry's D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies.

Your generosity is vital in keeping the library's programs, exhibitions, and reading rooms free and accessible to everyone. Make a donation today.


Louise Erdrich, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, is the author of many novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. Love Medicine, and LaRose received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Erdrich lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore. Her most recent book, The Night Watchman, won the Pulitzer Prize. A ghost lives in her creaky old house.

Mark Turcotte (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) is author of four collections, including The Feathered Heart and Exploding Chippewas.  His poetry and prose has appeared in TriQuarterlyPOETRY, Kenyon ReviewPloughsharesSentenceThe Missouri Review and other journals, and is included in the first Norton Anthology of Native Nations poetry. He has been the recipient of awards from the Lannan Foundation and the Wisconsin Arts Board. He lives in Chicago where he is Senior Professional Lecturer in the English Department at DePaul University. 

Kelly Wisecup is associate professor of English and affiliate faculty at the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University. Her scholarship and teaching focus on Native American literatures and on relationships between science and colonialism. Her latest book, Assembled for Use: Indigenous Compilation and the Archives of Early Native American Literatures, is available this fall from Yale University Press. In 2021-22, she is an NCAIS/Mellon Foundation fellow at the Newberry Library, where she is working on an edition of the poetry scrapbooks kept by the Ojibwe translator Charlotte Johnston. 



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