The Blue Jay's Dance: A Birth Year

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9780060171322: The Blue Jay's Dance: A Birth Year

The author of Love Medicine, The Beet Queen, and Tracks continues the saga of contemporary Native American life, connecting the stories with the character of Lipsha Morrissey who falls in love with beautiful Shawnee Ray. Reprint. $60,000 ad/promo. NYT.

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Review:

Mothers often cling to single moments, small gestures, and specific memories in order to grasp all that happens in the first blurry year of a baby's life. In The Blue Jay's Dance, writer Louise Erdrich has assembled a photo album of snapshots such as these: the days and images that collectively define the passion, ambivalence, yearnings, and satisfactions of carrying, birthing, and nurturing a baby. "Any sublime effort has its dark moments," says Erdrich, referring to a rather bleak snapshot of mother isolation. "Perhaps, if anything, the meaning in this book for others may be this: Here is a job in which it is not unusual to be, at the same instant, wildly joyous and profoundly stressed." The Blue Jay's Dance is a fresh and masterful book that avoids all the sticky clichés while still managing to articulate the depths of mother-baby love.

From the Back Cover:

Louise Erdrich’s first major work of nonfiction, The Blue Jay’s Dance, brilliantly and poignantly examines the joys and frustrations, the compromises and insights, and the difficult struggles and profound emotional satisfactions the acclaimed author experienced in the course of one twelve–month period—from a winter pregnancy through a spring and summer of new motherhood to her return to writing in the fall. In exquisitely lyrical prose, Erdrich illuminates afresh the large and small events that every parent will recognize and appreciate.

“Moving, memorable. . . . A book that breaks ground.”—Boston Sunday Globe

“Pregnancy, birth, and caring for an infant inspire Erdrich’s reflections on being a woman, a mother, and a writer. . . . [She] transforms the mundane into a paean to the mystery and wonder of the creative force, and a celebration of family, nature, and memory.”—People

“What Erdrich does so masterfully is tie together all the strings of her life. . . . All these strings tie her to the rest of us.”—Detroit Free Press

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