Louise Erdrich is one of the most gifted, prolific, and challenging of American novelists. Born in 1954 in Minnesota, she grew up mostly in North Dakota, where her parents taught at Bureau of Indian Affairs schools. Her fiction reflects aspects of her mixed heritage: German through her father, French and Ojibwa through her mother. She is the author of a number of novels for adults, the first of which, Love Medicine, won the National Book Critics Circle Award. She lives in Minnesota with her children, who help her run a small independent bookstore called The Birchbark.