Louise Erdich’s story, “The Red Convertible” comes from her experiences growing up near a Chippewa reservation. The time is 1974 following the Viet Nam War. The narration of the story is provided by a first person narrator, Lyman Lamartine, a Chippewa Indian.
The story is told by Lyman through flashbacks about his brother Henry. He and Henry purchased a red Oldsmobile convertible. Together the brother’s share one exciting experience during the summer with the car. They pick up a girl who was hitchhiking and take her home to Alaska. When they return to the North Dakota reservation, it is time for Henry to go into the Marines.
While Henry is gone to the war, Lyman places the convertible up on blocks to save it. He works on it and fixes so that it was perfect. The narrator hopes someday that Henry will give him the car outright.
Henry is taken prison by the Vietnamese and held for three years. When Henry returns, he is not the same person. His spirit has been...
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