Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich

Told from the multiple perspectives of two Ojibwe families, Love Medicine gives voice to the blessings and the burdens of kinship. Erdrich introduces the Kashpaws and the Lamartines – men and women whose lives are strengthened by the virtues of love, yet are undone by the perils of desire and the tumultuous politics of the reservation. Marie and Nector Kashpaw and Lulu Lamartine are ensnared in a lifelong love triangle that has reverberations over the course of three generations. Their descendants search for antidotes to heal past transgressions, revealing the endurance of a people and the sorrows of history.

Love Medicine is the first of Louise Erdrich’s polysymphonic novels set in North Dakota – a landscape that, in Erdrich’s hands, has become as iconic as William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County. It was heralded for its rich emotional truth when first published in 1984, and won the National Book Critics’ Circle Award. This new and revised edition can be viewed as part of a larger work, comprised of Tracks, Four Souls, The Bingo Palace, The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse, and The Painted Drum.

“It exerted an irresistible pull on the imaginations of many readers. Mysterious and lyrical, it was one of the first contemporary novels to portray life on an Indian reservation. It skimped on neither the sadness nor the dignity. It painted a picture of a world many of us thought we knew, and in the process showed us how much we hadn't understood.”

Judith Freeman, The Washington Post

Louise Erdrich received the 1984 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction for Love Medicine.