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Extended Audio Sample The Antelope Wife, by Louise Erdrich Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,398 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Louise Erdrich Narrator: Louise Erdrich Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“Family stories repeat themselves in patterns and waves, generation to generation, across blood and time. Once the pattern is set, we go on replicating it.”—Louise Erdrich, The Antelope Wife

Rooted in the landscape of city life yet continually influenced by the power of the Ojibwa family, the intricacies of Ojibwa language, and religious belief, The Antelope Wife reflects the irrevocable patterns set in motion by certain fateful acts. It is a story of connections in which history, lust, contemporary urban Native American life, hand-me-down names, legends, and sacred myth combine.

Set in Minneapolis, originally an important trading center and hunting ground, and still a magnet for many native people from nearby reservations, the story travels back in time. It begins with a soldier who deserts the cavalry during a cruel raid on an Ojibwa village to chase a dog carrying a baby on a cradle board strung with breathtaking blue beads. Generations later, a fast-talking trader kidnaps a silent and graceful woman from a powwow.

In a haunting re-creation of a native tale, the woman is part antelope. Hunter and hunted change identities. The Antelope Wife changes people. Nothing is ever the same again for friends and family.

The intertwining themes of the story include tragic loss, confusions of passion, transformation, betrayals, revenge, a dog who is “almost soup,” and an obsession to re-create a perfect German cake, remembered from a taste decades earlier.

A mix of vibrant cultures and ideas, The Antelope Wife extends the branches of the families who populate Louise Erdrich’s earlier, award-winning novels, and once again, her unsentimental, unsparing writing and reading capture the Native American sense of despair, magic, and humor in an unforgettable audiobook.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A fiercely imagined tale of love and loss, a story that manages to transform tragedy into comic redemption, sorrow into heroic survival.”

    New York Times

  • “[A] beguiling family saga….A captivating jigsaw puzzle of longing and loss whose pieces form an unforgettable image of contemporary Native American life.”


  • “Richly cadenced, deeply textured, Erdrich’s writing has the luster and sheen of poetry.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “'[An] extraordinary new offering of history, lore, obsession, loss, and love. Beautifully, extravagantly, in narrative fragments that mix metaphor and story, Erdrich creates a seemingly haphazard, totally absorbing series of oblique snapshots of these characters.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A sensuous novel…[and] a beautifully articulated tale of intertwined relationships among succeeding generations.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Stunningly imagined…This is realism at its most magical, in a novel as satisfying as any Erdrich has written.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of the 1999 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel
  • A 1998 New York Times Notable Book for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Naimi | 2/13/2014

    " I have loved the other Louise Erdrich books that I read, even though she recycles many of her characters and names. This is the first of the Indian series that I picked up and I hated it. I couldn't even finish this book. I made it halfway through and was so confused by the timeline and characters that it wasn't worth it to me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Barbara | 2/9/2014

    " Follows several Native Americans interwoven with traditional Native American tales. I'm sure I missed all allegorical notes within the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Louis | 2/8/2014

    " A very interesting read. The narratives were largely beautiful; whimsical at times. The cast is vast, so attention is needed so as not to miss the details. There was even a chapter written by a dog, which was rather entertaining. History, love, family relations are beautifully woven in this remarkable story. It's about connection between generations, between family members, and between human and the world they live in. And between human and the animals around them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Erin | 2/7/2014

    " Pretty much anything by Louise Erdrich is good. Really good. "

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