Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich

by Meditatinglibrarian@evpl on Wednesday, February 10 2010, 10:02am. Viewed 774 times.

Shadow TagI just finished reading Louise Erdrich's new novel, Shadow Tag.  This dark, tragic novel about a toxic marriage was utterly compelling and absorbing reading.  Below are quotes from reviews about it.  Soon after I started reading, I started remembering that Louise Erdrich used to be married to Michael Dorris.  And I found myself looking them both up in Wikipedia and wondering how much of this novel and the incredible insights in it are hard-earned and autobiographical.  Dorris committed suicide in 1997, a couple years after he and Erdrich divorced.  He was also facing child abuse accusations.  I loved Erdrich's early writing, grew disenchanted with her writing for many years, and have come full circle to loving her writing once again.

 "A brilliant cautionary tale.  Reading it is like watching a wildfire whose flames are so mesmerizingly beautiful that it's almost easy to ignore the deadly mess left behind." (Library Journal )

 "A fast-paced novel of exceptional artistic, intellectual, and psychological merit.  Nowhere have love's complications been better illustrated than in the raw honesty of Shadow Tag." (Boston Sunday Globe )

 "A masterpiece, a captivating work of fiction, exquisite, tightly focused, arresting.  This profoundly tragic novel captures that lament in some of Erdrich's most beautiful and urgent writing." (Ron Charles, Washington Post )

 "A portrait of an 'iconic' marriage on its way to dissolution.  Erdrich's unbridled urgency yields startlingly original phrasing as well as flashes of blinding lucidity." (New York Times Book Review )

 "An exquisite, character-driven tale, its piercing insights into sex, family, and power are breathtaking.  A masterfully concentrated and gripping novel of image and conquest, autonomy and love, inheritance and loss." (Donna Seaman, Booklist )

 "Erdrich offers a portrait that's convincing.  Shadow Tag is wonderfully, painfully readable and revealing." (Minneapolis Star Tribune )

 "Into this deeply personal novel about marriage, family and individual identity, Erdrich weaves broader questions about cause and effect in history...A small masterpiece of compelling, painfully moving fiction." (Kirkus Reviews (starred review) )

 "Muscular and fearless.  It is [Erdrich's] superb telling of this story that makes it real, her stellar writing that brings powerful truth to invented worlds." (BookPage )

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