The Round House


  • Winner of the 2012 National Book Award for Fiction
  • Washington Post Best Book of the Year
  • New York Times Notable Book


The Round House book coverOne Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface because Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.

While his father, a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning.

Louise Erdrich is not traveling at this point but the committee, with the help our faculty, will prepare programming connected to The Round House.


Lecture by Margaret Noodin, Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 
Date: Thursday, November 20, 2014
Time: 6 pm
Location: 132 Marano Campus Center

Lecture by Eric Cheyfitz, Ernest I. White Professor of American Studies and Humane Letters at Cornell University
Date: Thursday, October 2, 2014
Time: 7 pm
Location: 132 Marano Campus Center