To set the stage and introduce Oak Park readers to award-winning author Louise Erdrich, librarian Rashmi Swain will lead a book discussion of The Plague of Doves at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
The Plague of Doves follows the lives of several generations of small-town white residents and Ojibwe people living on a nearby reservation who are affected by an unsolved murder of a local farm family.
Narrators unravel stories of descendants of both communities. The elderly grandfather, Mooshum, for instance, enchants his adoring granddaughter with his stories of 1896 when thousands of doves descended on the community. Both Ojibwe and whites set up great bonfires to drive the crop-destroying birds out of town. When that did not work, the local Catholic priest called his parishioners to gather at the church and walk together in rows down the fields and pray the doves away. Chaos ensues as birds become entangled in the women’s long skirts. Mooshum, just a boy of 12, is nearly knocked out by a blow to the head from a bird. A lovely young girl aids him, and many adventures later, they are on the verge of becoming man and wife.
On October 23, Erdrich will discuss her most recent novel, The Round House, at the 2012 Barbara Ballinger Lecture . The Round House shares all of Erdrich’s trademarks: the ancient spirit work and intertwined characters whose experiences on a North Dakota reservation define them and propel their fates. It also shares some of the same characters as The Plague of Doves.
To learn more about Louise Erdrich and her work, use our Literary Reference Center . Enter your Oak Park Public Library card number and PIN, then search for "Louise Erdrich."