Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Shadow Tag

Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich

Love is found in the shadows of the story.

Gil and Irene are married with three lively, unique children.  Gil is a successful artist and Irene is frequently caught on the canvas of his representations of her.  Her spirit is slowing dying as it is belongs to Gil and the rest of the world as they view her image called America.  Her fear is that her shadow, as herself, has been taken from her.

Irene keeps two diaries, one red and one blue.  The Red Diary is written for Gil is who reading the diary secretly.  Irene manipulates Gil and the truth in Red Diary while looking for freedom from her oppression.  She keeps the Blue Diary locked in a safe deposit box.  The Blue Diary is just for her and no one knows about it.

Shadow Tag is a game you play when the sun or the moon places shadows on the ground and you try and catch other peoples shadows.  This book is multi-layered like all of Erdrich's novels.  Gil, the main character, is an artist and plays with light and shadows on canvas.  Love is hidden in shadows as well as hatred and fear.  Can you hide in your shadow or behind it?  You are bound and connected to your shadow forever. 

Louise Erdrich is one of my favorite novelists.  This is the fifth book I have read by her and she has never disappointed me.  Louise writes about Native Americans and Native themes.  She always teaches me something.  The themes in this novel are Art, Abuse, Alcoholism and Identity.  The Art backdrop is what I loved the most about it and can't stop thinking about.  Artists like George Catlin, Rembrandt, and Bonnard are represented.  My favorite painting in this world is Lucretia by Rembrandt, it is here in the Minneapolis Institute of Art and I grew up listening to the story and visiting the painting.  Imagine my shock and happiness when Gil, the main character, visits this painting and claims it as his favorite.  Wow.

Louise Erdrich owns a bookstore here in Minneapolis called Birchbark Books and next time you are in the area you need to stop in.  It is a unique bookstore and one of my favorites to visit.  You can order signed copies of Erdrich books off her website www.birchbarkbooks.com

Reading a book by Louise Erdrich is an experience that you will remember.

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