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The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse
by Erdrich, Louise
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1. Do you find Father Damien to be an attractive character? If so, why? Does it bother you that he is an impostor, a thief, a liar? Does it bother you that he spends money on a piano rather than on some other cause?
2. The novel invites comparisons between Leopolda and Damien. Does Erdrich seem to want us to favor one over the other, or is she making through the strangeness of both of them a comment about the "miracles" of Catholicism?
3. Father Damien goes to Little No Horse to convert the Ojibwe to Catholicism. By the end of the book has he nearly become converted to the very paganism he set out to replace?
4. What do you make of the black dog that hounds Father Damien? Is it the devil? Does it really speak? Is it evidence that Damien is insane?
5. Consider the various meanings of "passion" in this novel? Why does Erdrich use the word so often?
6. In this novel a very passionate woman spends most of her life impersonating a man. Along the way she becomes aware of certain ways that men typically behave, as well as how they are typically treated by others. Is there a message here about male-female roles and attitudes?
7. Does Erdrich's use of both genders of pronoun (he/she, etc.) to refer to Father Damien confuse you, or does it make sense in the context of the story?
8. In this novel more than any previous one, Erdrich gives untranslated words, phrases, and even sentences in the Ojibwe language. Can you usually figure out from the context what the words, phrases, and sentences mean?
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