Wednesday, September 18, 2013

March 2013: Native Americans of the Past & Present: The Transformation From “So-So” to Significantly Stirred.

Three Words:  Greek.  Feta.  Fries. 

We met at Canal Bistro in March to celebrate our anniversary and to discuss Louise Erdrich’s ‘The Round House’.

Being that we are a group of the whitest white gals ever, many of us initially approached the conversation not really knowing how we felt about this one. The story was OK. The plot was good. The characters were well drawn…but no one was “OMG! Freaking out about it!” 

Then, we started to get into our favorite moments and lines from this story, and it became clear that we were all captured and spellbound by the details and mysteries of a culture that is so foreign to us. Top takeaways:

1. Native American vs. American Laws: Jurisdiction, poverty, inequality. It's a bitch.

2. Horny grandfathers, though embarrassing, will teach you the most amazing things.

3. "In order to purify yourself, you have to understand yourself. Everything out in the world is also in you. Good, bad, evil, perfection, death, everything. So we study our souls." Nailed it. So good.

4. Sometimes you just have to stop for a 5 minute masturbation break.

5. Any book that includes a well placed road trip, wins. 

By the end of the dinner, I think we had inadvertently convinced each other that this book was amazing—and thus concluded that our next field trip should be to a North Dakota American Indian reservation (albeit, en route to California wine country).

Built “to keep their people together and to ask for mercy from the Creator, since justice was so sketchily applied on earth,” the round house, like Native American culture itself, is heartbreaking and beautiful.

November is Native American History month. In commemoration, maybe skip an episode of The Real Housewives of...whatever and give this book a read? It's by no means comprehensive, but it gives you some insight into understanding America's indigenous heritage. 

Two words: We. Loved.

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