The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse

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9780007136353: The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse

A powerfully involving novel from one of America's finest writers, and winner of America's prestigious National Book Award for Fiction 2012Sister Cecilia lives for music, for those hours when she can play her beloved Chopin on the piano. It isn't that she neglects her other duties, rather it is the playing itself - distilled of longing - that disturbs her sisters. The very air of the convent thickens with the passion of her music, and the young girl is asked to leave. And so it is that Sister Cecilia appears before Berndt Vogel on his farm, destitute, looking for sanctuary.Decades later, old Father Damien lays down his pen and dresses for bed. Slowly, he removes his heavy robes, undergarments and, at last, a bandage wound tightly around woman's breasts. Having lived for so long as a man, he fears that the discovery of his true identity will undo all that he has accomplished...Moving and lyrical, `The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse' is a powerful work from one of contemporary literature's brightest stars.

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Review:

Over the course of 13 years and five novels, Louise Erdrich has staked out a richly imagined corner of North Dakota soil--her own Yoknapatawpha, where every character is connected to every other and nothing can be said to happen for the first time. The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse is no exception. The report in question comes from Father Damien Modeste, who has served the Ojibwe through a century of famine, epidemics, murders, and feuds. But the good priest is not what he appears. The prologue ends with the curiously beautiful image of the old man slowly removing heavy robes, undergarments, and, at last, a bandage wound tightly around women's breasts: "small, withered, modest as folded flowers."

How--and why--could such a deception last so long? That's the first mystery. The second begins when Father Jude Miller (a name familiar to readers of The Beet Queen) arrives to investigate the life of Sister Leopolda (or Pauline Puyat, another familiar name). Was Leopolda a saint? Or its opposite, whatever that is? Miracles, after all, are a part of the reservation's everyday life; for every nun's stigmata there's a secular wonder like the death of Nanapush. Indeed, the chapter detailing this old trickster's demise is the kind of earthy, tragicomic fable Erdrich does to perfection, including as it does an extended trial by moose, death by flatulence, and not one but two lustful resurrections.

Erdrich's writing is at its best when she chronicles the bittersweet humor of reservation life. It's at its worst, sadly, when she cranks up the fog machine and goes for the violins. ("He had the odd sensation that petals drifted in the air between them, petals of a fragrant and papery citrus velvet," she tells us, telegraphing Father Jude's attraction to a woman.) But at least the book's sins are sins of ambition--this is a novelist who revisits the same territory because the capaciousness of her vision demands it. Readers may forgive Erdrich's vagueness about Father Damien's religious calling, but they will never forget her images, as lovely and surprising as figures glimpsed in a dream: the devil in the shape of a black dog, his paw in a bowl of soup; freshly planted pansies, nodding at the priests' feet "like the faces of spoiled babies"; a woman in a billowing white nightdress riding a grand piano through the "gray soup" of a flood. Moments like these are small miracles of their own. --Mary Park

From the Back Cover:

For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved people, the Ojibwe, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery of his physical identity, for he is a woman who has lived as a man. To complicate his fears, his quiet life changes when a troubled colleague comes to the reservation to investigate the life of the perplexing, difficult, possibly false saint Sister Leopolda. Father Damien alone knows the strange truth of Sister Leopolda's piety and is faced with the most difficult decision of his life: Should he reveal all he knows and risk everything? Or should he manufacture a protective history though he believes Leopolda's wonder-working is motivated by evil?

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A powerfully involving novel from one of America s finest writers, and winner of America s prestigious National Book Award for Fiction 2012Sister Cecilia lives for music, for those hours when she can play her beloved Chopin on the piano. It isn t that she neglects her other duties, rather it is the playing itself - distilled of longing - that disturbs her sisters. The very air of the convent thickens with the passion of her music, and the young girl is asked to leave. And so it is that Sister Cecilia appears before Berndt Vogel on his farm, destitute, looking for sanctuary.Decades later, old Father Damien lays down his pen and dresses for bed. Slowly, he removes his heavy robes, undergarments and, at last, a bandage wound tightly around woman s breasts. Having lived for so long as a man, he fears that the discovery of his true identity will undo all that he has accomplished.Moving and lyrical, `The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse is a powerful work from one of contemporary literature s brightest stars. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007136353

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A powerfully involving novel from one of America s finest writers, and winner of America s prestigious National Book Award for Fiction 2012Sister Cecilia lives for music, for those hours when she can play her beloved Chopin on the piano. It isn t that she neglects her other duties, rather it is the playing itself - distilled of longing - that disturbs her sisters. The very air of the convent thickens with the passion of her music, and the young girl is asked to leave. And so it is that Sister Cecilia appears before Berndt Vogel on his farm, destitute, looking for sanctuary.Decades later, old Father Damien lays down his pen and dresses for bed. Slowly, he removes his heavy robes, undergarments and, at last, a bandage wound tightly around woman s breasts. Having lived for so long as a man, he fears that the discovery of his true identity will undo all that he has accomplished.Moving and lyrical, `The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse is a powerful work from one of contemporary literature s brightest stars. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007136353

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Book Condition: New. 2002. Paperback. A powerfully involving novel from one of America's finest writers, and winner of America's prestigious National Book Award for Fiction 2012 Num Pages: 320 pages, genealogy tab. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 199 x 131 x 19. Weight in Grams: 278. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780007136353

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