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"The Bingo Palace" Louise Erdrich

1 rating: 3.0
Cover of "The Bingo Palace"

Erdrich's novel "Love Medicine" was her first novel that covered generations of families from the American Indian reservation. It won the 1984 National Book Critics Award.

Author: Louise Erdrich
Genre: Contemporaty fiction
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date Published: 01-94
1 review about "The Bingo Palace" Louise Erdrich

"Death is the golden key that opens the palace of eternity." John Milton

  • Jun 30, 2010
Rating:
+3
This is the story telling of the growth and maturation of Lipshaw Morrisey.

Lipshaw, illegitimate son of June Kashpaw and Gary Nanapush, is summoned home to the reservation by his grandmother, Lulu Lamartine. Her method of summons is by sending him a wanted poster with his father's photo on it.

This effective wake up call makes Lipshaw examine his life and the direction he was going. He thought of the drugs, his dead end job and his bleak future. After consideration of his situation, he packed his car and headed home to the res.

When he was a child, we learn that "...spirits pulled his fingers..." He finished high school and scored well on the North Dakota college tests but became another reservation statistic.

When he returns there are few jobs for a person without training. He accepts a position as night watchman at the Bingo Palace.  On the bright side, he saw Shawnee Ray once more and fell in love with her. He has competition for her feelings in that she is being sought after by Lipshaw's boss, his uncle Lyman Lamartine.

Erdrich's writing is rich with description and imagery. When Lipshaw and Shawnee Ray are with friends and she asks if he wants to kiss her, his response was, "Not here, our first kiss has to be a magic moment only we can share."

The author possesses a unique talent for creating characters who have an individuality that makes the reader want to learn more about their lives.

With Lipshaw, we see his early promise but like many members of the Chippewa Nation, he seems content with a meager existence. His position is a night watchman and is supplemented with his bingo winnings.

There are streams of hope in Shawnee Ray's future goals but we learn that many goals are just dreams that fade away in the mist.

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