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The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse

Erdrich, Louise (Book - 2009)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse
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A story of suspect miracles, tests of faith, and the corrosive and redemptive power of secrecy. Over the years, Father Damian has seen the reservation through its most severe crises, yet he is more than a heroic priest. He has lived with and served the Ojibwa people as a man of the cloth, and also as a woman. However, where does fact end and reality begin? NPR sponsorships. Deals with miracles, crises of faith, struggles with good & evil, temptation, & the corrosive & redemptive power of secrecy. For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved people, the Ojibwa, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Compelled to his task by a direct mystical experience, Father Damien has made enormous sacrifices, and experienced the joys of commitment as well as deep suffering. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery of his physical identity, for he is a woman who has lived as a man. He imagines the undoing of all that he has accomplished -- sees unions unsundered, baptisms nullified, those who confessed to him once again unforgiven. To complicate his fears, his quiet life changes when a troubled colleague comes to the reservation to investigate the life of the perplexing, difficult, possibly false saint Sister Leopolda. Father Damien alone knows the strange truth of Sister Leopolda's piety, but these facts are bound up in his own secret. In relating his history and that of Leopolda, whose wonder working is documented but inspired, he believes, by a capacity for evil rather than the love of good, Father Damien is forced to choose: Should he reveal all he knows and risk everything? Or should he manufacture a protective history? In spinning out the tale of his life, Father Damien in fact does both. His story encompasses his life as a young woman, her passions, and the pestilence, tribal hatreds, and sorrows passed from generation to generation of Ojibwa. From the fantastic truth of Father Damien's origin as a woman to the hilarious account of the absurd demise of Nanapush, his best friend on the reservation, his story ranges over the span of the century. In a masterwork that both deepens and enlarges the world of her previous novels set on the same reservation, Louise Erdrich captures the essence of a time and the spirit of a woman who felt compelled by her beliefs to serve her people as a priest. The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse is a work of an avid heart, a writer's writer, and a storytelling genius.
Authors: Erdrich, Louise
Title: The last report on the miracles at Little No Horse
Publisher: New York : Harper Perennial, 2009
Edition: 1st Harper Perennial ed
Characteristics: 361, 26 p. ;,21 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Louise Erdrich
Notes: Originally published: New York : HarperCollins, c2001
Includes a section entitled, P.S. insights, interviews & more--
Summary: A story of suspect miracles, tests of faith, and the corrosive and redemptive power of secrecy. Over the years, Father Damian has seen the reservation through its most severe crises, yet he is more than a heroic priest. He has lived with and served the Ojibwa people as a man of the cloth, and also as a woman. However, where does fact end and reality begin? NPR sponsorships. Deals with miracles, crises of faith, struggles with good & evil, temptation, & the corrosive & redemptive power of secrecy. For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved people, the Ojibwa, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Compelled to his task by a direct mystical experience, Father Damien has made enormous sacrifices, and experienced the joys of commitment as well as deep suffering. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery of his physical identity, for he is a woman who has lived as a man. He imagines the undoing of all that he has accomplished -- sees unions unsundered, baptisms nullified, those who confessed to him once again unforgiven. To complicate his fears, his quiet life changes when a troubled colleague comes to the reservation to investigate the life of the perplexing, difficult, possibly false saint Sister Leopolda. Father Damien alone knows the strange truth of Sister Leopolda's piety, but these facts are bound up in his own secret. In relating his history and that of Leopolda, whose wonder working is documented but inspired, he believes, by a capacity for evil rather than the love of good, Father Damien is forced to choose: Should he reveal all he knows and risk everything? Or should he manufacture a protective history? In spinning out the tale of his life, Father Damien in fact does both. His story encompasses his life as a young woman, her passions, and the pestilence, tribal hatreds, and sorrows passed from generation to generation of Ojibwa. From the fantastic truth of Father Damien's origin as a woman to the hilarious account of the absurd demise of Nanapush, his best friend on the reservation, his story ranges over the span of the century. In a masterwork that both deepens and enlarges the world of her previous novels set on the same reservation, Louise Erdrich captures the essence of a time and the spirit of a woman who felt compelled by her beliefs to serve her people as a priest. The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse is a work of an avid heart, a writer's writer, and a storytelling genius.
ISBN: 0061577626
9780061577628
Branch Call Number: FICTION ERDRICH 2009
Subject Headings: Indian reservations Fiction Passing (Identity) Fiction Ojibwa Indians Fiction Transvestites Fiction Women saints Fiction Miracles Fiction Clergy Fiction
Genre/Form: Psychological fiction
Topical Term: Indian reservations
Passing (Identity)
Ojibwa Indians
Transvestites
Women saints
Miracles
Clergy
MARC Display»

Opinion

From Library Staff

Father Damien has longed served the Ojibwa people. Now nearing the end of his life, he is asked to prove or disprove the sainthood of a woman he knows well and struggles to guard his own secret identity in the process. (2001)

"For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved people, the Ojibwe, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery of his physical identity, for he is a woman who has lived as a man."

It's high time to acknowledge that Erdrich's ongoing sequence of novels about Native American life on an Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota over the last century stands at the pinnacle of recent American fiction. Booklist

A story of suspect miracles, tests of faith, and the corrosive and redemptive power of secrecy. Over the years, Father Damian has seen the reservation through its most severe crises, yet he is more than a heroic priest. He has lived with and served the Ojibwa people as a man of the cloth, and als... Read More »

As a priest nears the end of his life, he is asked to prove or disprove the sainthood of a woman he knows well and struggles to guard his own secret identity in the process.


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Apr 23, 2013
  • joliebergman rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Love, love, love!

Nov 14, 2012
  • griddling rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

An excellent read, this book covers historical ground, questions and observations on culture and identity and weaves together complex stories.

Mar 26, 2011
  • CD1982 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is an amazing book, spanning many years and cultures. It’s a complicated story in some ways, but worth reading.

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