In Louise Erdrich’s short story “The Leap” there is relatively little direct information given by the narrator about herself, as she focuses instead mainly on describing her mother, Anna.
The key concrete information we have about the narrator is that she has returned to be there for her mother, who is now blind:
I returned, in fact, from my failed life where the land is flat. I came home to read to my mother, to read out loud, read long into the dark if I must, to read all night.
Meanwhile, there are numerous details about the mother’s life: we know about her early life and life touring with The Flying Avalons, a performing troupe. We learn about her skills as a trapeze artist and the death of her partner, Harry, and the still-birth of her first child. We learn about her relationship with the doctor, who is the narrator’s father, and their life together. We also learn about her bravery in saving her daughter, the narrator, from a house fire, and even in old age “the catlike...
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