Topics for Further Study
- Part of Erdrich's unique style is her narration by different speakers. She asserts that she writes in the traditional storytelling form of the Chippewa. Research storytelling techniques to learn more about this Chippewa tradition. Explain in your own words what Erdrich means by this. Think about other authors who use this technique in similar ways. List at least one, and give examples that will show the comparison between the authors' styles.
- There are distinct similarities between Erdrich's style in Love Medicine and Gloria Naylor's style in The Women of Brewster Place. List and explain the similarities, using specific examples from both novels.
- While Erdrich's writing in Love Medicine is said to be non-autobiographical, there are many aspects of the story that Erdrich has taken from her own experiences. Locate and read a biographical sketch of Erdrich, and compare it to Love Medicine.
- Trace the history of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Describe its original intent and purpose. Discuss its place in contemporary America.
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is said to be prevalent among Native Americans. Research this disease. Describe the symptoms and causes as well as the treatments and current studies that are being done. Locate and discuss references to the relationship between the disease and Native American culture.