Thursday, February 11, 2010

2010 book 42

Louise Erdrich's Shadow Tag
When I heard this book was coming out, I thought, yay, a new Louise Erdrich book, they're always good, and so I added it to my library hold list immediately. And then the reviews started coming out and they all mentioned that this novel, primarily about a troubled marriage, clearly referred to Erdrich's own marriage to Michael Dorris (cf. the NY Times review, p. 2). They of course were famous collaborators--I read their joint novel The Crown of Columbus, when I was in middle school and it was one of my favorite books for years, probably b/c it was the first I'd read that was an academic/literary mystery type of book--who famously divorced amidst accusations of child abuse, and then Dorris killed himself.

So this book broke my heart, both from its excellent writing and from the thought that their marriage could ever have been that exquisitely awful.

It's a definite departure from Erdrich's other novels, and definitely refers, if not specifically to her marriage, then to the difficulty of being married to an artist and serving as his muse, while trying to raise a family and not go crazy when you realize he's been reading your diary. So yeah, it's pretty dark. And like I said, heartbreaking. A.

No comments: