Love Medicine – HS Literature (hannah)

Note: This class is open to high school students only.

I just read this book and felt immediately called to teach it. Big themes include Indigenous life, family relationships, intergenerational narratives, multiculturalism, oral tradition, and the pull of home. Those of you who took Indigenous Poetry may remember reading Louis Erdrich’s poetry. 

In this powerful novel, Louise Erdrich introduces several generations in the interrelated families living in and around a Chippewa or Ojibwa reservation in North Dakota. Spanning fifty years, from 1934 to 1984, Love Medicine is told through the voices of a series of vivid characters, mostly Chippewa men and women who are caught up in the emotional tangle of their families’ histories, but who struggle to gain some control over their lives. In her uniquely poetic style, Erdrich creates an intense vision of a world that is at once violent and tender, ugly and lyrical, realistic and gothic. The separate stories that make up the novel convey the subtle pressure upon the souls of people who are culturally mixed – of those whose lives are shaped by conflicting values, habits, and customs.

This is a more-advanced English class – all of the required reading will take place outside of class, giving us more time to dig into the book together. The class will include weekly discussions about the book, writing assignments, and other related creative projects.

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