Born: July 6, 1954
Birthplace: Little Falls, Minnesota
With recurring characters and themes, Louise Erdrich's fiction is steeped in the American Indian cultures of North Dakota, where she was raised. Erdrich, the daughter of a French Ojibway mother, is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. She studied creative writing at Dartmouth and at Johns Hopkins University. For 15 years she was married to writer Michael Dorris, who acted as her agent and sometime collaborator. Erdrich's first novel, Love Medicine (1984), became a bestseller and won the National Book Critics Circle Award. The popularity of The Beet Queen (1986), Tracks (1988), and The Bingo Palace (1994) confirmed her emergence as a major voice in American fiction. Four Souls (2004) continues the saga of Fleur Pillager, last seen in Tracks and in 2005's The Painted Drum, she lyrically follows the story of a ceremonial Ojibway drum.