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The Night Watchman Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 166 ratings

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Length: 464 pages Word Wise: Enabled Audible book:
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of March 2020: Louise Erdrich pays poignant homage to her grandfather in this sweeping novel about Native American dispossession in the 1950s. Like her grandfather, our titular hero is a humble night watchman, also the tribal chairman of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in North Dakota. Initially an uneventful post, Thomas Wazhashk’s life is upended when he learns that the U.S. government has earmarked them for “emancipation” (an odd term, he points out, since they were not enslaved). The Night Watchman follows Thomas’s tireless efforts to persuade the U.S. government to honor treaties that protected what remained of their already picked-over lands. And Erdrich further expounds on the scourge of systemic racism, sexual exploitation, and other unsavory sundries through the stories of his extended family, and those in their orbit. Dark much? Yes. But The Night Watchman is tempered by Erdrich’s signature wit and humanity, exposing the light in the wounds of individuals, and a people, fighting for their place in the world. —Erin Kodicek, Amazon Book Review

Review

“Erdrich delivers a magisterial epic that brings her power of witness to every page…We are grateful to be allowed into this world…I walked away from the Turtle Mountain clan feeling deeply moved, missing these characters as if they were real people known to me. In this era of modern termination assailing us, the book feels like a call to arms. A call to humanity. A banquet prepared for us by hungry people.” (Luis Alberto Urrea, New York Times Book Review )

"With The Night Watchman, Louise Erdrich rediscovers her genius…This tapestry of stories is a signature of Erdrich’s literary craft, but she does it so beautifully that it’s tempting to forget how remarkable it is…This narrator’s vision is more capacious, reaching out across a whole community in tender conversation with itself. Expecting to follow the linear trajectory of a mystery, we discover in Erdrich’s fiction something more organic, more humane. Like her characters, we find ourselves “laughing in that desperate high-pitched way people laugh when their hearts are broken.”  (Ron Charles, Washington Post)

"Louise Erdrich's The Night Watchman is a singular achievement even for this accomplished writer. . . Erdrich, like her grandfather, is a defender and raconteur of the lives of her people. Her intimate knowledge of the Native American world in collision with the white world has allowed her, over more than a dozen books, to create a brilliantly realized alternate history as rich as Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi.” (O, The Oprah Magazine)

“In powerfully spare and elegant prose, Erdrich depicts deeply relatable characters who may be poor but are richly connected to family, community and the Earth.” (Patty Rhule, USA Today)

“Erdrich’s newest novel thrills with luminous empathy.” (Boston Globe)

“No one can break your heart and fill it with light all in the same book — sometimes in the same paragraph — quite like Louise Erdrich…She does it again, and beautifully, in her new book…gorgeously written, deeply humane…Erdrich’s writing about the bonds of marriage and family is one of the greatest strengths of her fiction. She captures all the affection, teasing, pain and forgiveness it takes to hold a family together.” (Tampa Bay Times)

“What is most beautiful about the book is how this family feeling manifests itself in the way the people of The Night Watchman see the world, their fierce attachment to each other, however close or distant, living or dead.” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

“Louise Erdrich is one of our era’s most powerful literary voices…In The Night Watchman Erdrich’s blend of spirituality, gallows humor, and political resistance is at play…It may be set in the 1950s, but the history it unearths and its themes of taking a stand against injustice are every bit as timely today.” (Christian Science Monitor)

  "Erdrich’s inspired portrait of her own tribe’s resilient heritage masterfully encompasses an array of characters and historical events. Erdrich remains an essential voice.” (Publishers Weekly)

“National Book Award winner Erdrich once again calls upon her considerable storytelling skills to elucidate the struggles of generations of Native people to retain their cultural identity and their connection to the land.” (Library Journal, Starred Review)

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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
166 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on March 6, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on March 3, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on March 22, 2020
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Top international reviews

Donny Rock
5.0 out of 5 stars Underprivileged plight
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 22, 2020
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Sarah Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Piercing insight and unforgettable characters
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 31, 2020
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful book with a strong message
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 3, 2020
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