Shadow Tag

Just as I was about to go out of my mind from working so much, from not finding time to write, or read for my own private pleasure, or visit my favorite blogs, or post here, just when I was beginning to feel overwhelmed, a snow day!

A day just for me. A day all on my own. To do with as I pleased. So first thing, I finished Louise Erdrich’s Shadow Tag. I’d picked it up after school yesterday, hoping that today would happen as the weatherman predicted. This new novel is so sad and beautiful. Rumor is, it’s Erdrich’s version of what happened in her marriage before her husband, the writer Michael Dorris, committed suicide. Whether you believe the rumors or Erdrich (who claims the novel is not about her marriage) it is not a pretty story. But it is a compelling one, and feels emotionally true, if not actually fact-based.

I admire Erdrich so much. If she can still write haunting beautiful books full of truth and terror, I can get my love scene revised. Reading Shadow Tag allowed me to see so clearly the grace that is given to writers who live under the radar. Usually its the opposite, right? Writers need people to know their names, buy their books, read their blogs. But in Shadow Tag, it’s clear that there’s a price to pay for too much creative success.

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  1. Oh Cindy, how true this is. I became and Erdrich fan after reading “The Blue Jay’s Dance,” her motherhood memoir. The writing is so gorgeous, and her descriptions of loving her newborn went straight to my heart. And my heart broke, not too long after, when I learned about her husband and the terrible undertow of their lives. Thanks for this review. I haven’t read Erdrich in a while, but will look for this one soon.


  2. Cindy it is very different from her usual style. But I liked that.She’s still growing and changing as a writer, and not relying on old forms just because they worked before. And such a brave topic for her to face head on this way in fiction.


  3. Isn’t it great how “snow days” appear at just the right moment?

    I thank you, too, for the review of a book that I otherwise would have passed by. Now I am intrigued.


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