Creating Connections in The Sentence by Louise Erdrich (72626)

Session Information: Literature, Literary Studies and Theory
Session Chair: Eiko Ohira

Friday, 22 September 2023 11:25
Session: Session 2
Room: Gracia
Presentation Type:Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 2 (Europe/Madrid)

The Sentence (2021) by Louise Erdrich deals with several issues facing society today, especially those affecting members of minority groups, notably Indigenous Americans. The setting of the novel is Minneapolis, Minnesota, from November 2019 to November 2020. The pandemic is critical as is the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, by the Minneapolis police. The fictional characters negotiate the trauma of discrimination in different ways, but at the heart of survival is a recognition of individual identity within the bonds of family, friends, and community. Survival also depends on food, often a marker of culture. And books can support survival. The main character is an Indigenous woman named Tookie who works in a bookstore. Tookie overcomes her troubled past including a lengthy prison term because of the relationships she develops. But she is haunted by the ghost of a former customer named Flora, a white woman identifying as Indigenous. Flora finds the truth of her ancestry in a handwritten book. Erdrich shows the importance of identity and how food and books can help to demonstrate or reveal it. Communication is effected through food for the body and mind positively and negatively, creating a space for bonding or possibly, as in the case of Flora, an eradication of the self.

Candace Fertile, Camosun College, Canada

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Candace Fertile is a University Postdoctoral Fellow or Instructor at Camosun College in Canada

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00