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About the Book

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Blending the classic coming-of-age story  with elements of memoir, detective novels, suspense, storytelling, and oral history, The Round House "tells the suspenseful tale of a 13-year-old boy's investigation and desire for revenge following a brutal attack on his mother that leaves his father, a tribal judge, helpless in his pursuit to bring the perpetrator to justice." (NEA Big Read). 

While the primary theme in the novel is justice through the lens of indigenous history and tribal law, the book also explores family, sexuality, relationships, and religion.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

To learn more about The Round House and find book clubskeep reading. You can also view the ASU Library Guide or learn all about The Round House with ASU Librarian Joe Buenker on February 28.

Ready to start reading? Borrow a copy of The Round House in print, digital, or audio formats through the Phoenix Public Library or enter the book giveaway!

A Note about Content

The Round House contains sensitive material and difficult subject matter that may be triggering for individuals who have been affected by violence against women, especially within Native communities. While we believe The Round House can guide us through these conversations—helping us to better understand the history and context of this violence, creating spaces of healing and connection for individuals, and moving us towards action and awareness as a larger community—it's important for us to center the experiences of those affected and acknowledge the risks.

If you or your loved ones have experienced or been affected by these issues, you can find services, support, and other community resources. We appreciate all of your bravery and heart in reading this book with us. We look forward to talking more with you soon.

About the Author

Photograph of Louise Erdrich by Hilary Abe

Louise Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and her debut novel, Love Medicine, was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.

More about the Book

A page-turning masterpiece of literary fiction

Riveting and supsensful, The Round House is a powerful coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a tender, moving novel of family, history, and culture.

One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface because Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning. (HarperCollins)

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