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Wallacette the Rain Queen

Mark Lambert, 19 February 1987

The Beet Queen 
by Louise Erdrich.
Hamish Hamilton, 338 pp., £10.95, February 1987, 0 241 12044 6
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Marya: A Life 
by Joyce Carol Oates.
Cape, 310 pp., £10.95, January 1987, 0 224 02420 5
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The Lost Language of Cranes 
by David Leavitt.
Viking, 319 pp., £10.95, February 1987, 0 670 81290 0
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... In The Beet Queen Louise Erdrich has returned to the setting, period, narrative techniques, and to some of the characters, of her admired first novel, Love Medicine, and has made something even richer out of them. Once again we are in North Dakota, at various times between the Great Depression and the present (chapters in Love Medicine are dated between 1934 and 1984, those in The Beet Queen between 1932 and 1972 ...

Crow

Peter Campbell, 5 January 1989

The Letter of Marque 
by Patrick O’Brian.
Collins, 284 pp., £10.95, August 1988, 9780241125434
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Klara 
by Hugh Thomas.
Hamish Hamilton, 347 pp., £12.95, October 1988, 0 241 12527 8
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From Rockaway 
by Jill Eisenstadt.
Penguin, 214 pp., £3.99, September 1988, 0 14 010347 3
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The High Road 
by Edna O’Brien.
Weidenfeld, 180 pp., £10.95, October 1988, 0 297 79493 0
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Loving and Giving 
by Molly Keane.
Deutsch, 226 pp., £10.95, September 1988, 0 223 98346 2
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Tracks 
by Louise Erdrich.
Hamish Hamilton, 226 pp., £11.95, October 1988, 9780241125434
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... Indian tribe – allows kinds of complexity to develop which novels of middle-class life exclude. Louise Erdrich’s knowledge of the Chippewa Nation is coupled with a gift for characterisation which can make strange loves, conflicts and rages seem native to the realistic novel. One is also grateful for Jill Eisenstadt’s more straightforward ability to ...

In the Box

Dale Peck, 6 February 1997

How Stella Got Her Groove Back 
by Terry McMillan.
Viking, 368 pp., £16, September 1996, 0 670 86990 2
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Push 
by Sapphire.
Secker, 142 pp., £7.99, September 1996, 0 436 20291 3
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The Autobiography of My Mother 
by Jamaica Kincaid.
Vintage, 228 pp., £8.99, September 1996, 0 09 973841 4
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... Gothic elements could be given the rejuvenating moniker ‘magic realism’, and the career of Louise Erdrich was made. None of this is, by the way, particularly bad. Silly: yes. Distracting: usually. Necessary: well, probably. Certainly from a marketing point of view, but, from a critical standpoint, there’s something to be gained by charting the ...

Is it OK to have a child?

Meehan Crist, 5 March 2020

... not because nothing matters, but because things do. ‘Staying open and willing is difficult,’ Louise Erdrich writes. ‘Very often in labour one must fight the instinct to resist pain and instead embrace it, move towards it, work with what hurts the most.’It is increasingly delusional to believe that global heating will be kept under 2ºC. And even ...

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