Author Louise Erdrich to receive North Dakota's highest honor


Author Louise Erdrich's latest award comes from North Dakota and is the highest issued by the state.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple has named Erdrich a recipient of the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award.

Erdrich lives in Minneapolis and was born in Little Falls. But in between she spent her formative years in Wahpeton, N.D., where her mother's father had been tribal chairman of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.

Erdrich won a National Book Award last year and has been a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Several of her 14 novels are set in North Dakota, as Gov. Dalrymple noted in announcing the award.

In an interview with the Fargo Forum last summer, Erdrich said “In all of my work I go back to the first and strongest impressions in life, and for me those happened in Wahpeton.”

Erdrich's portrait will hang in the state Capitol building, alongside those of 38 other North Dakotans who have received the award. The gallery ranges from journalist Eric Sevareid to singer Peggy Lee to basketball player and coach Phil Jackson.

Erdrich is now the owner of Birchbark Books in Minneapolis.

Here is an interview she did with Prairie Public Broadcasting last year:

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