Erdrich is like Faulkner creating a whole area of people which continue in book after book, back and forth through time. I hope the following makes sense – I did it as much for myself as anything because I started getting really interested and now I’ve got a new limb to my wish list. (lol!)
In the Love Medicine series there’s LM (1984) s an introduction but then the next published is called “Tracks” (1988) which is set in the time before Love Medicine and focuses on the characters Eli Kashpaw and Fleur Pillageris, the parents of Lulu Kashpaw.
The Bingo Palace (1994) has Lipsha Morrissey going back to see his grandmother, Lulu.
The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse (2001) focuses on Father Damien and Sister Leopolda – (remember them?)
Four Souls (2004) goes back to a time prior to LM but after Tracks – follows Fleur Pillager, mother of Lulu.
The Round House (2012) goes with The Plague of Doves (2008)- (contemporary generations and on the same reservation as the Love Medicine books and Nanapush is mentioned but not much else from the LM books.)
The Beet Queen (1986) and The Master Butcher’s Singing Club (2003) are both about Germans in or near Argus, ND which is a fictional town but near the reservation which is real but fictionalized in Erdrich’s books. The reservation characters are in the background for the Beet Queen. These books are not connected by characters or plot – only geography.
Tales of Burning Love (1997) characters from the Turtle Mountain reservation but not on it and not really related (from a side issue in The Bingo Palace).
The Antelope Wife (1998) – Ojibwe but not totally stand-alone
Shadow Tag (2010) is about a contemporary women with connections to the Ojibwe people.
The Painted Drum (2005) is about a white woman from NY who finds a drum in an estate sale and hunts it down to the ND reservation. All different characters though – different themes kind of.
The Crown of Columbus [coauthored with Michael Dorris] (1991) totally different but concerning a Native American woman.
These can all be stand-alone novels – not sequels. The plots are entirely different. The Round House has one single narrator. etc.
Many awards – LM got the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Round House got the National Book Award and she’s been in the top three for the Pulitzer. Lots more minor ones.
I read The Beet Queen first and really enjoyed it. Then I read The Painted Drum which was a bit smaltzy. Then I read The Round House. And now I’ve read Love Medicine and really want more of this family, North Dakota stuff.