NPR: Q&A with Louise Erdrich on law and order in Indian Country
Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
"In 1988, 13-year-old Joe Coutts is thrust into adulthood after his mother, Geraldine Coutts, is sexually assaulted. His story is at the center of Louise Erdrich's latest novel, The Round House.
On the difficulties of finding justice on Native American reservations
"There are several kinds of land on reservations. And all of these pieces of land have different entities who are in charge of enforcing laws on this land. So in this case, Geraldine Coutts does not know where her attacker raped her. She didn't see, she doesn't know. So in her case, it is very, very difficult to find justice because there's no clear entity who is in charge of seeking justice for her ...
"So in writing the book, the question was: If a tribal judge — someone who has spent his life in the law — cannot find justice for the woman he loves, where is justice? And the book is also about the legacy of generations of injustice, and what comes of that. Because, of course, what comes of that is an individual needs to seek justice in their own way when they can't find justice through the system. And that brings chaos.""
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