Tracks on a Page

Louise Erdrich, Her Life and Works

by Frances Washburn

Print Flyer

May 2013


Pages 145
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics The Arts/General

This book details the intersections between the personal life and exceptional writing of Louise Erdrich, perhaps the most critically and economically successful American Indian author ever.

Known for her engrossing explorations of Native American themes, Louise Erdrich has created award-winning novels, poetry, stories, and more for three decades. Tracks on a Page: Louise Erdrich, Her Life and Works examines Erdrich's oeuvre in light of her experiences, her gender, and her heritage as the daughter of a Chippewa mother and German-American father.

The book covers Erdrich from her birth to the present, offering fresh information and perspectives based on original research. By interweaving biography and literary analysis, the author, who is herself Native American, gives readers a complete and nuanced understanding of the ways in which Erdrich's identity as a woman and an American Indian have influenced her life and her writing. Tracks on a Page is the first, book-length work to approach Erdrich and her works from a non-Euro-Western perspective. It contextualizes both life and writing through the lenses of American Indian history, politics, economics, and culture, offering readers new and intriguing ways to appreciate this outstanding author.


  • Chronological organization takes the reader from Erdrich's childhood, through her years at Dartmouth College, her personal life, and her career as a writer


  • Provides an overview of American Indian literature, its origins and style, and the unique publishing difficulties facing American Indian authors
  • Connects Erdrich's publications to the events of her life from her earliest years to the present
  • Shares in-depth perspective on Louise Erdrich's life as a mixed race, American Indian/German-American, author
  • Addresses specific issues related to Erdrich's identity as a member of the Ojibwa Nation
Author Info

Frances Washburn, PhD, is associate professor and the director of graduate studies in the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. Washburn is of Lakota/Anishanaabe/Irish/German heritage and grew up on and around Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Her published works include two novels of American Indian literature, Elsie's Business and The Sacred White Turkey. She is working on a third novel, The Red Bird All Indian Traveling Band.



"A solid introduction to Erdrich. . . . Recommended."—Choice

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