, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 161–168 | Cite as

Healing and recuperation in Louise Erdrich’s story “The Bingo Van”

  • Tijana MatovićEmail author


The aim of this paper is to provide an analysis of Louise Erdrich’s short story, “The Bingo Van” (1990) as a representative work of her long-standing narrative attempt to use gambling as a way of addressing the possibility of change in Native American communities. The protagonist of the story, Lipsha Morrissey is a psychologically disoriented young Chippewa man, apparently focused on short-term goals, which ultimately reveal themselves as a corrupt version of the illusory American Dream. Lipsha is otherized and, as such, forced to accept the normative stamp of the culture of dominance, in Gerald Vizenor’s terminology. His healing power decreases as he becomes overwhelmed by the materialistic drive fueled by a prominent van-obsession. The sacred place is replaced with a pre-empted one, which brings about a moral devastation to Lipsha. His subsequent recovery progresses within a healing narrative, which enables a waking-up into a restful nothing—such an emptiness being vital in what Erdrich shapes as a powerful potential for recuperation.


Native American Gambling Healing Culture Identity 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Philology and ArtsUniversity of KragujevacKragujevacSerbia

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