The Reader's Guide to Louise Erdrich
The Justice Trilogy
Welcome to the Reader's Guide to Louise Erdrich's Justice Trilogy
Louise Erdrich is the author of 17 novels, 3 poetry collections, 6 children’s books, and 3 non-fiction books. Many of her stories take place in the same fictional universe, in and around the Little No Horse Reservation. Her stories are often multi-generational, told from many different perspectives and a whole menagerie of characters that reoccurs throughout her works.
In 2006, Gay Barton and Peter G. Beidler wrote and compiled A Reader’s Guide to Louise Erdrich, creating timelines, family trees, and a dictionary of characters to provide readers with a convenient overview of the intricate connections in her work. This book covered all the novels she had published up to then. Thirteen years later, however, Louise Erdrich has published another five novels, among which, the Justice Trilogy.
This website functions as the expansion of this project by providing family trees and character information for Erdrich’s Justice Trilogy, consisting of The Plague of Doves, The Round House, and LaRose.
The family tree below is both too large and too small. It represents most, but not all, familial relations between the characters in Louise Erdrich’s Justice Trilogy (The Plague of Doves, The Round House, La Rose). Not all characters are present in this chart, simply because not all characters are related.
For instance, Father Travis Wozniak, who appears both in The Round House and LaRose, and plays a major role in both novels, does not appear on this chart, because he is a priest who is send to the Little No Horse Reservation from another state and is therefore an isolated outsider in terms of familial relations. Others, like Lulu Nanapush—on the far left side of the chart—is mentioned only once, offhandedly, but is represented on the chart, because her familial connection is explicitly mentioned.
For the most part, the core of this family tree reveals how most major characters across the trilogy are related and how, therefore, the stories are intertwined. In the pages on the individual books below, you can still consult the information about the “isolated” characters and possibly their own smaller family trees. The chart below is meant to be consulted for a quick check-up on who, for instance, Joe’s mother was again, or how Maggie Peace and Snow Iron are related to each other, etc.