Negotiating Traumatic Memories in Louise Erdrich’s The Round House: White Man’s Law vs. Native Justice and Tradition
This chapter shows how Louise Erdrich’s The Round House (2012) can be productively analysed to delve into such momentous issues as the common vulnerability of particular human groups (in this case, Native Americans); how these groups (despite their marginal(ized) position) have been able to cope with historical trauma; and the kind of strategies they have developed to survive in a hostile socio-political context. Drawing upon concepts and ideas used in studies on traumatic memories and the politics of mourning, Ibarrola-Armendariz explores how Erdrich’s novel articulates a response to a problem—the assaults on Indian women—that has historically plagued her people. The protagonist-narrator of the story, Joe Coutts, is faced with the difficult challenge of recovering from both an individual and a cultural trauma.
KeywordsTraumatic memories Native Americans Louise Erdrich Justice and sovereignty Cultural trauma
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