Louise Erdrich just won a 2012 National Book Award in Fiction for THE ROUND HOUSE.

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The Round House by Louise Erdrich (Harper; 336 pages; $26.99).

Louise Erdrich’s new novel The Round House is quite a departure from her previous novels.  Typically, Erdrich writes from multiple perspectives, with each narrative contributing a little window into a larger world.  She switches gears with The Round House, winner of a 2012 National Book Award in fiction.  Joe Coutts, her primary narrator and an Ojibwe Indian, recalls a horrific crime that occurred when he was thirteen.  A cacophony of voices is unnecessary in The Round House; Joe drives Erdrich’s story, and his voice speaks volumes.

Like Erdrich’s previous works, The Round House is set on a North Dakota Indian reservation.  Erdrich is part Chippewa, and problems facing Native American communities mean a great deal to her, as they should to us all.  In The Round House, she once again tackles difficult subjects, such as violence against women, crime…

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