Louise Erdrich is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. She is also a widely reviewed and respected novelist whose first work of fiction, ``Love Medicine,'' won numerous prizes including the 1984 National Book Critics Circle Award. It and her two succeeding novels ``The Beet Queen'' and ``Tracks'' delineate characters she might have known growing up on and near an Indian reservation in North Dakota. Michael Dorris, of Modoc background, recently published ``Yellow Raft on Blue Water,'' a novel about three generations of Indian women, set in the Pacific Northwest and on Montana reservation. (At the time of contact with settlers the Modocs lived near the Klamath Lakes on the Oregon-California border.) The novel is told by three narrators, the youngest of them a 15-year-old girl of mixed black and Indian parentage. Dorris is also a professor at Dartmouth College's Native American Studies Department where he and Erdrich met. He has also written several non-fiction works.
The Erdrich-Dorris marriage is a literary as well as a social partnership. Each gets involved in the development of the other's writing, a process they discuss in the accompanying interview with Michael Huey.