Author Louise Erdrich on ‘The Night Watchman’

The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich
The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich
Beth Novey | NPR

In her latest novel, author Louise Erdrich takes her audience back in time to a sometimes forgotten period of history when federal policy terminated treaties and rights under the guise of emancipation. The tale centers on characters who call the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa reservation home, and their effort to fight this law along with day-to-day challenges.

Erdrich’s title character — the night watchman in the story — was inspired in part by the story of her grandfather, who helped take the tribe’s fight to Washington, D.C. His letters from this time period, which Erdrich calls “some of the treasures in my life,” were part of her research on the era.

Kerri Miller talked with Erdrich at a Kerri Miller Book Circle event about her novel, “The Night Watchmen;” identity; and what she learned about her grandfather and family from his letters.


  • Louise Erdrich is the author of 16 novels, volumes of poetry, children’s books and a memoir. Her latest work is “The Night Watchman.”

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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