Minnesota author wins Library of Congress literary award


Minneapolis novelist Louise Erdrich will be honored with the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction this year.

The award-winning author will receive the prize Sept. 5 at the National Book Festival in Washington.

The award is "given to writers with 'unique, enduring voices' whose work addresses the American experience," the New York Times reports.

Erdrich, a member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa tribal nation, was born in Little Falls, Minnesota, according to the Poetry Foundation, and was raised in North Dakota by her Ojibwe-French mother and German-American father.

She has penned 14 novels as well as poetry, short stories, children's books, and a memoir of early motherhood. Many of her stories have been written about Native American life from various points of view.

“Louise Erdrich has portrayed her fellow Native Americans as no contemporary American novelist ever has,” James H. Billington, the librarian of Congress, said in a statement announcing the prize, according to the New York Times. “Her prose manages to be at once lyrical and gritty, magical yet unsentimental, connecting a dreamworld of Ojibwe legend to stark realities of the modern-day.”

She is the third author to be honored with the Library of Congress' fiction prize, following in the footsteps of E.L. Doctorow in 2014 and Don DeLillo the year before, according to the Library of Congress' website.

Last year, Erdrich received the Dayton Literary Peace Prize’s distinguished achievement award for fostering peace and understanding through her writing.

Her novel "The Round House" won the National Book Award, while her story "The Plague of Doves" was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Erdrich also owns Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore in Minneapolis.

Next Up