The Suspense Novel as Persuasion: Survivance and Subversion in Louise Erdrich’s The Round House
In the best-selling and award-winning novel The Round House (2012), Louise Erdrich strategically uses the suspense novel genre to engage a wide audience to the sexual violence Native women face in the United States, including the jurisdictional maze those living on reservations experience when seeking justice. Through a close textual analysis (both format and content narrative features), I examine how the novel demonstrates Gerald Vizenor’s theory of survivance. Specifically, how Erdrich’s maneuvering within the suspense genre, by both adhering to certain tropes but also subverting the form by weaving Ojibwe storytelling to indigenize the text, demonstrates survivance and participates in consciousness-raising by exposing readers to the issues facing Native peoples.
Smith, Cortney. 2023. "The Suspense Novel as Persuasion: Survivance and Subversion in Louise Erdrich’s The Round House." Studies in American Indian Literatures 35(1-2): 20-38.
University of Nebraska Press
Studies in American Indian Literatures
Survivance, Rhetoric, Suspense genre, Subversion, Consciousness-raising, Sexual violence