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Louise Erdrich - Anishinabee (Ojibwa) 

Louise Erdrich - Anishinabee (Ojibwa)

Love medicine (Kärleksbrygd) 

Personer och lite om handlingen.

Familjen Kasphaw.

Old Man Nanapush - det finns inte så mycket att säga om honom i berättelsen annat än att han är gift med Margaret Kasphpaw och han är far till Nector Kasphaw och Eli Kasphaw. Men i ojibweindianernas mytologi är han en av huvudfigurerna, ofta kallad Nanabozho.

Margaret Kashpaw (Rushes Bear) - Namnet Rushes Bear tog hon sig efter att ha konfronterat en björn utan vapen i händerna. Hon är gammal, bitter och lever med sin man Old Man Nanapush lite från och till. Mest besöker hon sina barn. Sonen Nector är hon särskilt förtjust i trots att hans fru är Marie. I sinom tid upptäcker Margaret att det är Marie som ser till familjen medan Nector är rätt dålig på det. Så Margarets relation till Marie blir bättre efter hand.

Eli Kasphaw

Nector Kashphaw

Marie Kashpaw Lazarre (född kring 1930).

Zelda Bjornson (tidigare Kashpaw)

Albertine Johnson

Albertine is the only child of Zelda Kashpaw and Swede Johnson. She was born around 1958. Her father left before her birth, and Albertine has a difficult relationship with her mother, who blames her for limiting her ambitions to become a nun. Albertine is a rebellious teen and often runs away from home. When she is fifteen, she meets Henry Lamartine Junior in Fargo and has sex with him. Years later she works with Dot Adare at a truck weighing site and befriends her and Gerry Nanapush when Dot is pregnant. She eventually goes to nursing school and then decides to continue on and become a doctor. She is close with her cousin Lipsha.

Andy

The mud engineer that June Morrissey meets the night she dies.

Aurelia Kashpaw

Nector and Marie's daughter, and Gordie and Zelda's younger sister. As a child she and Gordie try to hang June. Years later when Marie and Nector move to the Senior Citizens, Aurelia takes care of the family house.

Beverly "Hat" Lamartine

Henry Lamartine's brother and, after Henry's death, Lulu Lamartine's third husband for a short time before she discovers he has another wife, Elsa. At Henry's funeral, he helps Lulu out of Henry's grave when she faints into it. They have sex and when a child is born 9 months after the funeral, he think that child, Henry Junior, is his. He returns to the reservation seven years later to claim his son and ends up marrying Lulu. When Lulu finds out about Else she sends him back to the Twin Cities with Gerry. This is the first time Gerry, then twelve years old, is put in detention. Lulu suspects Beverly turned him in.

Bonita

Lulu's last child, born when she was near 50 to a Mexican migrant worker.

Dot Adare

Gerry Nanapush's wife and the mother of their daughter Shawn. She and Albertine work together at a truck weighing site, and Albertine is with her in the hospital when she is giving birth and Gerry narrowly escapes getting arrested.

Eli Kashpaw

Nector's brother and the son of Rushes Bear and Kashpaw. His mother hid him from government education while Nector was sent to school. He is a recluse who knows how to live off the land, and he raises June after her mother dies.

Fleur Pillager

Lulu's mother, a respected and feared medicine woman. Also known as Old Lady Pillager.

Gerry Nanapush

The second-born of Lulu's two sons with Moses Pillager. As a young man he has an affair with June Morrissey, who is older than him. Their son Lipsha is born, but Gerry leaves before she is pregnant. Soon after he gets into a fight with a cowboy and Gerry has his first bout in prison. He repeatedly escaped prison only to get sent back and have more time added to his sentence. He becomes a Chippewa hero due to his escapades and is an activist during his short times out of prison before getting caught again. He impregnates Dot Adare when she visits him in prison and he escapes to be with her when she gives birth, but ends up having to run away from the hospital when the police show up. At the end of the novel he reconnects with his son Lipsha, who drives him to the Canadian border after another prison break-out.

Gordie Kashpaw

Nector and Marie's oldest son, and June's cousin and later husband. As a child he and his sister Aurelia try to hang June. Gordie and June elope to South Dakota to marry, and spend their honeymoon in a closed vacation cottage complex on a lake in Minnesota. Gordie and June have a difficult marriage: he abuses her and she cheats on him. They have one child, King. Gordie becomes an alcoholic after June dies and dies in his mother's bed of drinking Lysol.

Henry Lamartine Junior

Beverly and Lulu's son, conceived the night of Henry's funeral. He is closest with his half-brother Lyman, and the two get into many adventures together, including buying a red convertible together and driving up to Alaska one summer. He enlists in the Marines and is sent to Vietnam, and comes home a changed man: angry, sad, and alcoholic after his experience as a prisoner of war. He has drunkenly sex with Albertine in Fargo when she is fifteen, and has a vivid hallucination in front of her based off his experience seeing a bayoneted woman in Vietnam. Lyman purposefully breaks parts of the convertible to try to bring Henry out of his shell, and it works for a while as he fixes the car. Yet he drowns to death in the Red River one day with Lyman, and Lyman sends the car in after him.

Henry Lamartine Senior

Lulu's second husband and Beverly's brother. He and Lulu marry for genuine fondness after she plays a game of strip poker with him and Beverly. He dies in a car and train accident, which Lulu thinks was an accident and Marie thinks was suicide in response to Lulu's promiscuity.

June Morrissey

She is the daughter of Marie's sister Lucille and a Morrissey man. She has a turbulent married to Gordie and is the mother of King Kashpaw. She has an affair with Gerry and bears their child Lipsha, but gives him to be raised by Nector and Marie. As a girl, he mother died and she was left alone in the woods to eat sap. She ended up being raised by Eli Kashpaw after a short stint with Marie and Nector. She dies at the beginning of the novel in a heavy Easter snowstorm after she tries to walk home from Williston, North Dakota.

King Howard Kashpaw

June and Gordie's son. He grows up in a troubled household where June often leaves and Gordie sometimes hits her. He becomes a violent and abusive adult as a result of his childhood. He married Lynette and they have a son, King Junior. They live in the Twin Cities. He dried to drown her at the Kashpaw family home and uses the insurance money from June's death to buy a new card. At the end of the novel, when Lipsha visits him, we see that he has neglected his intelligent son and lies about being in Vietnam. He spent time in Stillwater prison with Gerry and and betrayed his escape plans.

King Howard Kashpaw Junior

King and Lynette's intelligent young son, who teaches himself to read from watching "Sesame Street" and goes to first grade a year early.

Sister Leopolda

A nun at the Sacred Heart Convent who agrees to be Marie's sponsor when she wants to become a nun. She professes her love for her in violent ways, including scalding her with burning water. She has a violent row with Marie and stabs her in the hand with an iron. She is especially devout and self-denying, finding her faith through pain and self-harm. Marie visits her as an old woman.

Lipsha Morrissey

June and Gerry's child, raised by Marie and Nector and ignorant of his parentage until the end of the book. He has healing power and tries to work love medicine on his grandparents, but ends up causing Nector's death by choking. He is close with his cousin Albertine.

Lulu Lamartine

Daughter of Fleur Pillager, and raised by Nanapush and Margaret after her mother sends her to reservation school and she repeatedly tries to run away. She has eight sons and one daughter by many fathers. Her various love affairs include Nector Kashpaw, Moses Pillager, Henry Lamartine, Beverly Lamartine, and a Mexican migrant worker. She is a strong woman who is self-sufficient and does not care what people say about her. In her later years, she becomes a tribal activist.

Lyman Lamartine

Lulu's son with Nector Kashpaw, conceived during a five-year affair. He is skilled at earning money and takes after his father. He is very close with his brother Henry, and Henry's deep deeply affects him. Later in life he works for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and runs a factory that makes Chippewa trinkets. He plans to open a casino.

Margaret (Rushes Bear) Kashpaw

She married the original Kashpaw and had 12 children, including her youngest Eli and Nector. She allows Nector to be sent to government school and keeps Eli home, after all her older children move to Montana to receive their government land allotments.

Lynette Kashpaw

King's white wife and mother of King "Howard" Junior. She and King have an abusive relationship.

Marie Kashpaw

Along with Lulu, a central female character and grandmother figure in the novel. Marie grew up in a poor family and only got to come to town for church. She wants to join the convent but ends up clashing bitterly with Sister Leopolda, who eventually marks her with a hand injury that looks like stigmata. Marie meets Nector as she is running away from the convent. They fall in love and are married for the whole story until Nector's death. They have five children: Gordie, Zelda, Aurelia, Patsy, and Eugene. They also have two children who die. Marie takes in many children from the reservation, including Lipsha. She and Lulu become friends in the later years of their life at the Senior Citizens after Nector's death. She also becomes an activist there.

Moses Pillager

Lulu's first lover, with whom she had two children, including Gerry. His mother fooled death when an epidemic swept the tribe when he was a child, and pretended he was already dead. He lived but became a recluse and moved to an island overrun with cats. Lulu leaves him after more than 10 years together, some time after Gerry's birth, because he will not move to town.

Nanapush

The last survivor of his family, an elderly man born in the mid-1800s. He takes in Lulu when she is a child after she runs away from boarding school. Married to Margaret.

Nector Kashpaw

He is the youngest son of Margaret (Rushes Bear) and Kashpaw. He is sent to government school and eventually marries Marie. She pushes him to be involved in tribal politics and he eventually becomes chairman of the tribe. He has a five-year affair with Lulu, during which they conceive a son, Lyman. In his later years he grows senile and reignites his affair with Lulu when he, her, and Marie are all living in the Senior Citizens. He dies of choking on a turkey heart when Lipsha botches love medicine.

Zelda Kashpaw

Nector and Marie's oldest daughter and mother of Albertine by Swede Johnson, who left before she was born. She was a shy child who wanted to be a nun until Albertine was born. She and Albertine have a difficult relationship.

© Staffan Jansson 2017