In Louise Erdrich's novel Love Medicine, who is the main character? Explain.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I do not believe that there is a main character in Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine . Each chapter is about a different character. The stories and characters overlap, but this is not a novel as much as it is a collection of short stories, realistically and poetically shared with...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

I do not believe that there is a main character in Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine. Each chapter is about a different character. The stories and characters overlap, but this is not a novel as much as it is a collection of short stories, realistically and poetically shared with the reader.

Newsweek author, Gene Lyons says:

[Regarding] Louise Erdrich's novel Love Medicine...that no matter what the dust jacket says, it's not a novel. It's a book of short stories...

As this is the case, it is impossible to find a main character because the book is not written as a novel, with one overriding conflict, a steady plot and a resolution to the story. It is written as a series of short stories with characters from the same two families. The chronology is out of sync. For example, the first chapter takes place in 1981, but the next chapter takes place in 1934; the story in the second chapter is related to the characters and story in the first chapter, but with a totally different plot, new characters—though somehow tied to previous and future characters. The themes are often the same, showing how the experiences connect the different characters and generations together, but the book does not read as a novel in the format we are accustomed to.

It is not a traditional novel, so I don't see that Love Medicine has a main character.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team