‘‘The Red Convertible,’’ one of Louise Erdrich's most anthologized short stories, is the second chapter of her debut novel Love Medicine. The novel is a collection of fourteen stories bound by common characters and themes. When Holt published it in 1984, it became a bestseller that won awards such as the National Book Critics Circle Award and the American Academy of Arts and Letters award for best first fiction. Since its publication, it has been translated into eighteen languages. In 1993, Erdrich expanded the book by four more stories. Love Medicine is the first in Erdrich's series of novels portraying twentieth-century Chippewa life in North Dakota.
‘‘The Red Convertible’’ functions as a stand-alone story and is often selected by instructors to introduce Erdrich's writing to students. In this story of brothers struggling to cope with their changing relationship and the changing world, Erdrich demonstrates the difficulties many Vietnam veterans and their families faced after the war.