A few days ago, with Twitter going crazy over the latest rape, women & God insanity, I discovered Louise Erdrich’s The Round House. Set in 1988, this suspense novel is narrated by the son of a Native American woman violently raped blocks from her home. The Round House explores and exposes the lack of justice Native American women have always had to accept regarding the consequences of this violent act, as in, there aren’t many.
Of course, The Round House is wonderfully written, you expect nothing less from Ms. Erdrich. You also expect that her story telling has a purpose. Ms. Erdrich and her ‘voice’ had something to do with the passage of Tribal Law and Order Act, signed into law in 2010 by President Obama. In her New York Times interview, she said this: More recently the Senate Judiciary Committee crafted a helpful piece of legislation. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012 would have given tribal nations limited jurisdiction over sexual predators regardless of race. Right now tribal courts can only prosecute tribal members. The problem is that over 80% of the perpetrators of rapes on reservations are non-Native. Most are not prosecuted. The bill went forward only to stall in the House, blocked by Republican votes.
When some writers need to make sense of ‘insanity,’ they turn to writing fiction. If you write it well enough, you can tell the whole truth. Given the craziness displayed by some of our GOP legislators, perhaps Ms Erdrich is already fleshing out her next novel.