Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich Age, Wiki, Height, Family, Husband, Net Worth

Erdrich (born Karen Louise Erdrich on June 7, 1954) is an American Novelist, Poet, and children’s book Author who uses Native American characters and settings in her works. She is a member of the “Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians“, a federally recognized Anishinaabe tribe (also known as Ojibwe and Chippewa).

Louise Erdrich images
Real NameKaren Louise Erdrich
GenreNative American Literature, Children's Book
Personal Life
Date of Birth7 June, 1954
Age (as in 2023)68 Years
BirthplaceLittle Falls, Minnesota, United States
NationalityOjibwe, American
HometownLittle Falls, Minnesota , United States
Current ResidenceMinneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Zodiac SignGemini
ReligionChristian (Catholic)
SchoolJohns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Collage/UniversityDartmouth College
Educational QualificationGraduated ( Master of Arts )
HobbiesWriting, Reading, Storytelling, Traveling
Physical Stats
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 170 cm
in meters- 1.70 m
in feet inches- 5'7"
Weight (approx.)in kilograms- 70 kg
in pounds- 154 lbs
Eye ColourHazel
Hair ColourBlonde
Body Measurements34 - 27 - 36
Chest Size34 inches
Waist Size27 inches
Hips Size36 inches
Shoe Size8 US
Dress Size6 US
DebutFirst Novel: Love Medicine [1984]
First Non-Fiction Book: Imagination [1982]
Awards & Achievements• Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (2021)
• Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, US, and Canada (1985)
• National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction (2017)
• National Book Awards for Fiction (2012)
• World Fantasy Award- Novel (1999)
• Anisfield - Wolf Book Award for Fiction (2009)
• PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction (2014)
• American Book Award (1985)
Notable Works• Future Home of the Living God”
• “Love Medicine”
• “Shadow Tag”
• “Tales of Burning Love”
• “The Antelope Wife”
• “The Beet Queen”
• “The Bingo Palace”
• “The Blue Jay’s Dance: A Birth Year”
Relationships & Affairs
Martial StatusDivorced
HusbandMichael Dorris [m. 1981–1997]
ParentsFather- Ralph Erdrich
Mother- Rita Erdrich
SiblingsSisters- Lise Erdrich, Angie Erdrich, Held Erdrich and three others
ChildrenSons- Reynold Abel, Sava, Aza Marion
Daughthers- Persia, Pallas & Madeline
Net Worth (approx.)$5 million
Social Media

Biography/Early Life

Louise Erdrich was the eldest child of Ralph and Rita Erdrich and was born in Little Falls, Minnesota. Her father was a German-American, and her mother was an Ojibwe woman who served as the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Nation’s tribal chairman.

Erdrich has six siblings, including Lise and Heidi, also writers. Erdrich’s father encouraged her to write stories as a child by paying her a cent for each story she wrote. Her father was a member of the National Guard, and when he was away from home, he wrote to her regularly.

Louise Erdrich biography

Erdrich has stated that her father is her greatest literary inspiration and that much of her writing is inspired by the letters her mother and father wrote to her.

Erdrich was a member of Dartmouth College’s first co-educational class in 1972. She met Michael Dorris, the Director of the Native American Studies program at the college.

Erdrich enrolled in Dorris’ class, and it motivated her to begin carefully researching her Native American ancestry, which had a significant impact on her writing.


Louise was born to parents from a large family in Little Falls, Minnesota. Both her father, Ralph Erdrich, and mother Rita (née Gourneau) worked as teachers at a Bureau of Indian Affairs-run boarding school in Wahpeton, North Dakota. Erdrich’s mother is of Chippewa ancestry (half Ojibwe, half French), while her father is German-American.

She is the eldest of six siblings that she grew up with. However, there are no facts concerning her multiple siblings. However, Erdrich has a sister, Held E. Erdrich, who is also a poet and lives in Minnesota.

Her sister, Lise Erdrich, is also an author, having published children’s books and collections of fiction and essays.

Louise said her father used to pay her a nickel for each story she wrote as a child. Louise’s grandpa, Patrick Gourneau, was the tribal chairman for the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, recognized by the federal government.


From 1972 to 1976, Erdrich attended Dartmouth College.  She was a member of the college’s first female class and received an A.B. in English. Erdrich met Michael Dorris, an anthropologist, writer, and director of the new Native American Studies program during her first year.

Louise Erdrich books

She began researching her ancestry while in Dorris’ class, which prompted her to use it in her literary work, such as poetry, short tales, and novels. She worked as a lifeguard, waiter, film researcher, and editor for the Boston Indian Council publication The Circle during that time.

Erdrich enrolled at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, for a Master of Arts program in 1978. In 1979, she received her Master of Arts in Writing Seminars. 

Erdrich published some of the poetry and stories she produced while pursuing her M.A. As a writer-in-residence, she returned to Dartmouth. She also received her diploma from Dartmouth College.


Visiting poet and teacher, North Dakota State Arts Council, 1976-78; writing instructor, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 1978-79; communications director and editor of the Circle, Boston Indian Council, Boston, MA, 1979-80; textbook writer, Charles-Merrill Co., 1980; proprietor, Birch-Bark Books, Minneapolis, MN, 2000-present.

Louise Erdrich career

Previously worked as a beet weeder in Wahpeton, ND, a waitress in Wahpeton, Boston, and Syracuse, NY, a mental aide in a Vermont hospital, a prison poetry instructor, a lifeguard, and a construction flag signaler. Has served as a judge for writing competitions.

International Writers, PEN (executive board member 1985-88), Authors Guild, and Authors League of America are all members.

Awards and Achievements

  • 1983 Pushcart Prize in Poetry
  • 1984 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, for Love Medicine
  • 1985 Guggenheim Fellowship in Creative Arts
  • 1987 O. Henry Award, for the short story “Fleur” (published in Esquire, August 1986)
  • 1999 World Fantasy Award, for The Antelope Wife
  • 2000 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas
  • 2005 Associate Poet Laureate of North Dakota
  • 2006 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, for the children’s book “The Game of Silence”.
  • 2007 Honorary Doctorate from the University of North Dakota; refused by Erdrich because of her -opposition to the university’s North Dakota Fighting Sioux mascot
  • 2009 Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Letters) from Dartmouth College
  • 2009 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement
  • 2009 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, for Plague of Doves
  • 2012 National Book Award for Fiction for The Round House
  • 2013 Rough Rider Award
  • 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award
  • 2014 PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction
  • 2015 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction
  • 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, for LaRose

Relationship, Husband, Affairs

Erdrich met her future husband, Michael Dorris, at Dartmouth College in 1972 when they were both students. Michael’s work also inspired Louise to research her family history.

Before they got into a romantic relationship, they kept in touch and eventually worked together. During their marriage, the former pair collaborated frequently.

Louise Erdrich Husband Michael Dorris
Louise Erdrich’s Husband, Michael Dorris

Michael Dorris, Louise’s ex-husband, was an archaeologist, writer, and director. Erdrich married Michael Dorris in a private wedding ceremony attended by close friends and family in 1981.

Persia, Pallas, Madeline, Reynold Abel, Sava, and Aza Marion are the couple’s six children. However, in 1995, the couple divorced. In 1997, Erdrich’s ex-husband committed suicide.

Louise Erdrich Children

Louise has three biological children with her late ex-husband Michael Dorris: Reynold Abel, Sava, and Aza Marion. On the other hand, Michael Dorris had adopted three children on his own before their private marriage: Persia, Pallas, and Madeline.

Before his death, Michael Dorris was involved in several legal battles with his children. Jeffrey Sava accused him of child abuse, and his daughter Madeline accused him of sexual abuse in 1997.

Physical Appearance

Louise Erdrich is approximately 5 feet 7 inches tall. Louise Erdrich is 36-24-34 inches tall, with a 34-inch breast, a 27-inch waist, and a 36-inch hip.

The color of her eyes is hazel, and her hair is blonde. The shoes are an 8 US size, and the dress is a 6 US size.

Net Worth

Louise Erdrich’s net worth is predicted to be between $1 million and $5 million. This includes her property, funds, and earnings. Her primary source of income is her work as a poet and author.

Erdrich has amassed considerable riches through her multiple sources of income, but she likes to live a humble lifestyle.

Louise Erdrich photos

Interesting Facts about Louise Erdrich

  • Louise is a famous author and poet who extensive recognition for writing children’s books and novels.
  • She is widely praised as one of the most significant writers of the second wave of the Native American Renaissance.
  •  In 2009, The Plague of Doves, her novel, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and received an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.
  • Erdrich is 66 years of age as of 2020, and she is an American national born on June 7, 1954, in Little Falls, MN.
  • Erdrich has an approximate Net Worth of between $1 Million and $5 Million from her successful career as an author and poet.

Read More: Shannon Messenger | Rick Riordan | Anne Rice

Was this article helpful?