She said she wanted to acknowledge “the grace and endurance of native women.” She added: “This is a book about a huge case of injustice ongoing on reservations. Thank you for giving it a wider audience.”
Erdrich was raised in Wahpeton, North Dakota, on the North Dakota-Minnesota state line. Her Ojibwa-French mother and German-American father both taught at the Bureau of Indian Affairs School. Erdrich did not leave the Red River Valley region until she entered Dartmouth College as part of the first class of women admitted there in 1972. Bill Moyers interviewed Erdrich in 2010 about how her Native American heritage influences her work.