The Sentence

Louise Erdrich
In Conversation With Eric Gansworth
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Episode Summary

In her stunning and timely new novel, Louise Erdrich creates a wickedly funny ghost story, a tale of passion, of a complex marriage, and of a woman’s resiliency through her relentless errors.

Louise Erdrich’s latest novel, The Sentence, asks what we owe to the living, the dead, the reader, and to the book. A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store’s most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls’ Day, but she won’t leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading “with murderous attention,” must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.

Participant(s) Bio

Louise Erdrich, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, is the author of many novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. Love Medicine and LaRose received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Erdrich lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore. Her most recent book, The Night Watchman, won the Pulitzer Prize. A ghost lives in her creaky old house.

Eric Gansworth, Sˑha-weñ na-saeˀ, (Onondaga, Eel Clan) is a writer and visual artist, born and raised in Tuscarora Nation. The author of twelve books, he has been widely published and has had numerous solo and group exhibitions. Lowery is a Writer-in-Residence at Canisius College; he has also been an NEH Distinguished Visiting Professor at Colgate University. His work has received a PEN Oakland Award and, American Book Award, Printz Honor Award and was Longlisted for the National Book Award. Gansworth’s work has been also supported by the Library of Congress, the Saltonstall and Lannan Foundations, the Arne Nixon Center, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Seaside Institute.